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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 main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? Why the advantage has grown as time passes? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw an absolute conclusion. We know there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors that all play a role in women living longer than men, we do not know how much each one contributes.

In spite of the number of pounds, we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men do today, but not previously, has to do with the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. What are these new factors? 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, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, علامات الحمل بولد 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 you can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart shows that, while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan, the difference is only half a year.

In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's look at how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

6-6.jpgFirst, there's an upward trend. Men and women in the US live a lot, علامات الحمل بولد much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be very modest, but it grew substantially over the course of the last century.

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