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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. Why do women live longer than men in the present and why is this difference growing in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not sufficient to support an informed conclusion. We know 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.

In spite of how much amount, we can say that at least a portion of the reason why women live longer than men do today but not previously, is to do with the fact that a number of important non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other are more complicated. 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, ابر التخسيس 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 every country is above the diagonal parity line - this means in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that while the female advantage is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

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The advantage of women in life expectancy was much lower in developed countries than it is now.
Let's examine 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 from 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America have longer lives than they were a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be extremely small, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and ابر التخسيس Sweden.lipedemiaandperiodontitisarticlejournalo