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Why are women living longer than men?

Wilford Tufnell (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 so longer than men and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an absolute conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, افضل كريم للشعر but we don't know exactly how much the influence to each of these variables is.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But, this is not because of certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these new factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, افضل كريم للشعر 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 you can see, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

The female advantage in life expectancy was less in rich countries than it is now.
Let's see how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living longer than they used to a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be quite small, it has increased substantially in the past.

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