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Why do women live longer than men?

Kimberly Castleberry (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 more than men do today and why is this difference growing over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women's longevity more than men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

1 year agoIt is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However this is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and صبغ الشعر بالاسود 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. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

The advantage for women in life expectancy was much lower in countries with higher incomes than it is now.
Let's examine how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two points stand صبغ الشعر بالاسود out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be extremely small however it increased dramatically in the past century.

You can verify that these points are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.