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Why women live longer than men?

Analisa Wingfield (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 makes women live much longer than men today and why is this difference growing over time? The evidence is limited and we only have some answers. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, However, we're not sure how much the influence of each factor is.

In spite of the number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men but not in the past, is to be due to the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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. It is clear that every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from any country can anticipate to live longer than her older brother.

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is less that half a year.

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In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity used to be smaller
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US in the years 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both men as well as women in the US are living much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be extremely small however, زيوت تطويل الشعر it has increased significantly over the last century.

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, زيوت تطويل الشعر France, and Sweden.