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Why do women live longer 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's the reason women have a longer life span than men? And how is this difference growing as time passes? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only some answers. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than males, it isn't clear how much each factor contributes.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. 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 above the diagonal parity line , this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is only half a year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's examine the way that female advantages in longevity has changed with time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancy at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand اضيق وضعية للجماع out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be quite small however, it has increased significantly in the past century.

It is possible to verify that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.3 years ago