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Why women live longer than men?

Vilma Santora (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? And how the advantage has grown as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we only have limited answers. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we aren't sure how significant the impact of each one of these factors is.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this is not because of certain biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور women. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, difference between countries is huge. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is less that half a year.

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In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy when they were born in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

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

When you click on the option "Change country from the chart, you can verify that these two points also apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.