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Why women are more likely to 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 is the reason women live longer than men in the present, and why is this difference growing over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support a definitive conclusion. We know there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors that all play a role in the longevity of women over men, we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the precise amount, we can say that at least part of the reason women live so much longer than men do today but not in the past, has to do with the fact that some fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. 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 زيوت تطويل الشعر men and women. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line - which means that in every country the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
We will now examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US live a lot, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be extremely small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

You can confirm that the points you've listed 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.