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Why women live longer than men?

Cathryn Richter (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 reason women live longer than men? Why the advantage has grown in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not strong enough to make an informed conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors which all play a part in women's longevity more than males, it isn't clear the extent to which each factor ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور plays a role.

We have learned that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But it is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. 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 line of parity - this means in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

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The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in the richer countries as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US between 1790-2014. Two distinct features stand out.

6 months agoFirst, there's an upward trend. Men and women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be quite small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

Using the option 'Change country from the chart, verify that these two points apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.