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Why are women living 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. Why do women live longer than men, and why has this advantage increased in the past? There isn't much evidence and we only have partial answers. We know there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in women's longevity more than men, we do not know what percentage each factor plays in.

We know that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 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, تحاميل مهبلية all countries are above the diagonal parity line - which means that in every country the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

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

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In wealthy countries, the women's advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's now look at how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The chart below shows male and تحاميل مهبلية female life expectancies at birth in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small however, it has increased significantly over the last century.

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