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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Ava Scutt (2022-04-21)

tafsiribnukatsirmuhaqqoq001-110113010227Everywhere 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 more than men do today and how has this advantage increased in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide partial solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men; but we don't know exactly how much the influence of each factor is.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal line of parity - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage throughout the world, تحاميل مهبلية the differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have a longer life span than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half a year.

In rich countries the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
We will now examine the way that female advantages in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

There is an upward trend: تحاميل مهبلية Men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

It is possible to verify that these are applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.