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Why are women living longer than men?

Jett Alvarado (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 is the reason women live much longer than men today and how has this advantage increased over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور we're only able to provide limited answers. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; but we don't know exactly what the contribution of each factor is.

We have learned that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues that are more intricate. 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, 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 above the diagonal parity line - which means that in every country a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women exists in all countries, global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was less in developed countries than it is now.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend: Men and women in the US live a lot, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once quite small however, it has grown significantly over time.

maxresdefault.jpgYou can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.