Комментарии читателей

Why are women living longer 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's the reason why women have a longer life span than men? And why the advantage has grown over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that play an integral role in women who live longer than males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men, but not previously, is to do with the fact that a number of key 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. 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.

50362981788_8b5c58902e.jpgEverywhere 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 all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart shows that, even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half one year.

In rich countries the longevity advantage for women used to be smaller
Let's examine how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

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

The gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once tiny It has significantly increased over time.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and افضل شامبو وبلسم ( Sweden.