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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 makes women live more than men do today and how does this benefit increase in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an informed conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors which play a significant role in women's longevity more than males, we aren't sure what percentage each factor plays in.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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 line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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The female advantage in life expectancy was smaller in rich countries as compared to the present.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows male and افضل كريم للشعر female life expectancy when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand افضل كريم للشعر out.

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

There is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very modest, but it grew substantially over the last century.

If you select the option "Change country in the chart, determine if these two points are also applicable to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.