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Why are women living longer than men?

Kimberly Castleberry (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 are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason the advantage has grown in the past? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't strong enough to make an unambiguous conclusion. We know there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors which play a significant role in women who live longer than males, it isn't clear how much each factor contributes.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But it is not due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects 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, ماذا يحدث بين الزوجين في الحمام بالصور 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, every country is above the diagonal parity line - it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a new 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 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.

In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US between 1790 until 2014. Two areas stand out.

There is an upward trend. Men and women in the United States live 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 It has significantly increased over time.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.