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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Ava Scutt (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? Why the advantage has grown over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we only have partial solutions. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women living longer than males, we aren't sure how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the number of pounds, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men do today, but not in the past, is to have to do with the fact that some significant non-biological elements have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal parity line , which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women exists in all countries, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half an hour.

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In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's see 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 between 1790 and افضل كريم للشعر (glorynote.com) 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they did 100 years 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 life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country in the chart, you can verify that these two points apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.