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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 are more likely to live longer than men? And how does this benefit increase over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide incomplete answers. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors that play an integral role in the longevity of women over men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But, this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for علامات الحمل بولد 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 علامات الحمل بولد women. It is clear that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

The chart above shows that although the female advantage is present everywhere, global differences are significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half an hour.

In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's now look at how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US in the years 1790 until 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there's an upward trend. 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.

Second, there's an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used to be very small however it increased dramatically over the course of the last century.

If you select the option "Change country by country' in the chart, determine if these two points are also applicable to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.