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Why are women living longer than men?

Aurora Salter (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. Why do women live longer than men, and why is this difference growing in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we have only incomplete answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; but we don't know exactly how much the influence to each of these variables is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But this isn't due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. 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, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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 ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور men and women. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries are often significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes than it is today.
We will now examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was once quite small It has significantly increased over time.

By selecting 'Change Country by country' in the chart, you will be able to confirm that the two points also apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.