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Why do women live longer than men?

Leandro Tilton (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 more than men do today, and why does this benefit increase over time? There is only limited evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure how significant the impact of each one of these factors is.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But this isn't due to the fact that certain biological or 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. There are others 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 اضيق وضعية للجماع men and women. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal parity line - which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that, while the advantage for women exists in all countries, difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of just half a year.

In the richer countries, the longevity advantage for اضيق وضعية للجماع women was previously smaller.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart plots the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be very small but it increased substantially in the past century.

You can check if these are applicable to other countries with data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.