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Why do women live longer than men?

Lilliana Kobayashi (2022-04-22)


11 years agoEverywhere 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 so more than men do today and how is this difference growing over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only limited solutions. We know there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables which all play a part in the longevity of women over males, we aren't sure what percentage each factor plays in.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But, this is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain 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, افضل شامبو وبلسم 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, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , it means that in all nations that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the female advantage in longevity used to be smaller
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancies at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women 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.

And second, there is an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very small, but it grew substantially in the past century.

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