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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Sienna Wunderly (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 is the reason women live longer than men in the present and why is this difference growing in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only some answers. We know there are biological, psychological, and environmental factors which play a significant role in women who live longer than men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the precise number of pounds, we know that at least a portion of the reason women live so much longer than men today however not as in the past, is to do with the fact that several significant non-biological elements 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, صبغ الشعر بالاسود 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 line of parity. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can anticipate to live longer than her younger brother.

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is less that half a year.

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The advantage women had in life expectancy was less in the richer countries than it is today.
Let's look at the way that female advantages in longevity has changed with time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was quite small but it has risen significantly with time.

You can confirm that 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.