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Why women live 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. Why do women live so much longer than men today, and why is this difference growing over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in women living longer than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the precise amount of weight, we are aware that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men do today but not previously, has to relate to the fact that a number of fundamental 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. 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 every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that while the female advantage exists in all countries, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women are 10 years older than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

In countries with high incomes, صبغ الشعر بالاسود the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US live much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was very small, it has increased substantially over time.

When you click on the option "Change country in the chart, determine if these two points also apply to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.