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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Ferne Sisk (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. Why do women live much longer than men today and how is this difference growing in the past? There isn't much evidence and we have only incomplete solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure 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 several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and زيوت تطويل الشعر 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. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her brothers.

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of just half a year.

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The advantage women had in terms of life expectancy was lower in rich countries that it is today.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

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

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be quite small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

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