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Why are women living longer than men?

Tawanna Cates (2022-04-21)


Everywhere 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 main reason women live longer than men? And how is this difference growing over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to reach an absolute conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure how much the influence of each one of these factors is.

We have learned that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However this isn't because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain are more complicated. For example, افضل كريم للشعر 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, 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 men and women. We can see that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that while the female advantage exists everywhere, the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women living in America are living longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is growing: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was very small but it has risen significantly in the past.

5 years agoYou can verify that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, افضل كريم للشعر France, and Sweden.