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Why do women live longer than men?

Lilliana Kobayashi (2022-04-21)


8 days agoEverywhere 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 women live longer than men? And why has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support an unambiguous conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that all play a role in women living longer than men, we do not know how much each one contributes.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men but not previously, صبغ الشعر بالاسود is to be due to the fact that a number of important 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. Some are more complex. 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 over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her older brother.

The chart below shows that while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men, while in Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women was previously smaller.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. Men and women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy was once tiny but it has risen significantly over time.

It is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, صبغ الشعر بالاسود and Sweden.