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Why women are more likely to 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's the reason women live longer than men? Why has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? The evidence is sketchy and we're only able to provide some solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors which play a significant role in the longevity of women over men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

JPT.jpgIn spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men today and not in the past, is to have to do with the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and 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, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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. It is clear that every country is above the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her brother.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.

The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in countries with higher incomes as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the gender-based and female-specific life expectancy when they were born in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men living in America are living longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used to be very modest however, it has increased significantly in the past century.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and زيوت تطويل الشعر Sweden.