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Why are women living 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 is the reason women live longer than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? The evidence isn't conclusive and we only have partial solutions. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables that all play a role in women's longevity more than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men today and not previously, has to have to do with the fact that several key non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? 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, تحاميل مهبلية ( 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. It is clear that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her brother.

This graph shows that although there is a women's advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.

The advantage for women in terms of life expectancy was lower in countries with higher incomes than it is today.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two areas stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in the United States live longer than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once quite small It has significantly increased over time.

By selecting 'Change Country' on the chart, check that these two points also apply to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.