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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Ferne Sisk (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 longer than men? What is the reason has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? The evidence is limited and we're only able to provide some solutions. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral as well as environmental factors which all play a part in women's longevity more than men, we do not know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

In spite of the precise amount of weight, we are aware that at least a portion of the reason women live so much longer than men do today and not in the past, is to be due to the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. What are these new 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. It is clear that every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

It is interesting to note that while the female advantage exists everywhere, العاب زوجية the difference between countries is huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men, while in Bhutan the difference is less than half an hour.

In the richer countries, the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
We will now examine how the female advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancies at birth in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two areas stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small but it increased substantially during the last century.

71329080697.jpgWhen you click on the option "Change country from the chart, you will be able to confirm that the two points apply to other countries that have available data: Sweden, France and the UK.