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Why are women living longer than men?

Analisa Wingfield (2022-04-22)


27263.pngEverywhere 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 reason women have a longer life span than men? And how the advantage has grown over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is.

In spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason why women live so much longer than men in the present and not in the past, زيوت تطويل الشعر has to have to do with the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. 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. We can see that all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her older brother.

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
Let's look at how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend: Men as well as women in the US live 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 once tiny, it has increased substantially with time.

You can check if these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.