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Why are women living longer than men?

Tawanna Cates (2022-04-21)


large_1238219713.jpg?1334742753Everywhere in the world women live longer than men - but this was not always the case. The available data from rich countries shows that women didn't live longer than men in the 19th century. What's the reason why women are more likely to live longer than men? And how is this difference growing over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; but we don't know exactly how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

In spite of the amount of weight, we are aware that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men today but not in the past, has to be due to the fact that a number of key non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other are more complicated. For example, there is evidence that in rich countries the female advantage increased in part because infectious diseases used to affect women disproportionately a century ago, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, اضيق وضعية للجماع especially for survivors, ended up raising women's longevity disproportionately.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for اضيق وضعية للجماع men and women. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men; in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at the birth in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was very small however, it has grown significantly in the past.

You can verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.