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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Merlin Dunstan (2022-04-22)


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 much longer than men today, and why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we only have some answers. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we aren't sure how significant the impact of each factor is.

In spite of the amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live so much longer than men but not previously, has to be due to the fact that several 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. 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 line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can expect to live longer than her brothers.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's look at how the gender advantage in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand العاب زوجية out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. and women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is growing: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was once extremely small but it has risen significantly with time.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.