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Why do women live longer than men?

Hassie Blaze (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's the main reason women live longer than men? Why the advantage has grown as time passes? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental variables which play a significant role in women's longevity more than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain 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.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. As you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart above shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

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The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in rich countries than it is today.
Let's look at how the gender advantage in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US between 1790 and زيوت تطويل الشعر 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and زيوت تطويل الشعر men in America have longer lives than they used to 100 years 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 extremely small but it has risen significantly in the past.

You can check if these are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.