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Why do women live longer than men?

Sienna Wunderly (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 longer than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, However, we're not sure how strong the relative contribution of each factor is.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men however not as in the past, is to do with the fact that certain important non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others 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.

qCFMgVVQdnEHbaTM0xn0sgHaFj.jpgEverywhere 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 over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for اضيق وضعية للجماع longer than her brother.

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men living in America are living longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country from the chart, you are able to check that these two points are also applicable to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.