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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's the main reason women have a longer life span than men? And how does this benefit increase over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an absolute conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we do not know how strong the relative contribution of each one of these factors is.

4 years agoIndependently of the exact amount, we can say that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present but not previously, has to relate to the fact that a number of fundamental 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. Some are more complex. 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 men and women. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

Interestingly, زيوت تطويل الشعر this chart shows that, while the advantage for زيوت تطويل الشعر women exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan, the difference is less than half a calendar year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was less in developed countries as compared to the present.
Let's examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancy when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was very small but it has risen significantly over time.

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