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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 makes women live much longer than men today and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to support an informed conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we do not know how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, كيفية إقامة علاقة بالصور like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. 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 we can see, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - which means that in every country a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
We will now examine the way that female advantages in longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US between 1790 until 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was very small It has significantly increased over time.

When you click on the option "Change country in the chart, you can determine if these two points apply to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.