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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. Why do women live so much longer than men today and why is this difference growing in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not strong enough to make an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors which all play a part in the longevity of women over males, it isn't clear how much each one contributes.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But this isn't due to the fact that certain 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 other issues 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. We can see that all countries are above the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in every country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men, ابر التخسيس while in Bhutan the gap is just half a 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 female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at the time of birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they did 100 years 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 life expectancy used to be extremely small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

It is possible to verify that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.