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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 have a longer life span than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; However, we're not sure how significant the impact of each of these factors is.

Independently of the exact number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live so much longer than men but not previously, has to do with the fact that a number of fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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. We can see that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could be expected to live for افضل شامبو وبلسم longer than her younger brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists everywhere, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes than it is now.
We will now examine how the advantage of women in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two areas stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did 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 be extremely small, but it grew substantially in the past century.

When you click on the option "Change country in the chart, you will be able to check that these two points are also applicable to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.