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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Tawanna Cates (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 live longer than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger in the past? There isn't much evidence and we have only some answers. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in women who live longer than males, it isn't clear the extent to which each factor plays a role.

We are aware that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this isn't due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are others that are more intricate. For example, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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 diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

It is interesting to note that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is less that half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was much lower in rich countries as compared to the present.
Let's now look at how the gender advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live much, 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 a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.