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Why women live longer than men?

Roma Glaze (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 reason why women live longer than men? What is the reason has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some solutions. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that play an integral role in women's longevity more than males, it isn't clear the extent to which each factor plays a role.

Independently of the exact amount of weight, we are aware that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men today but not previously, is to relate to the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This graph shows that although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is less that half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. and علامات الحمل بولد women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very modest however it increased dramatically over the course of the last century.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have information by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.