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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Analisa Wingfield (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 is this difference growing over time? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide incomplete answers. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological as well as 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 weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men today however not as previously, is to do with the fact that certain key non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? 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 ابر التخسيس women. As we can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means that in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is just half a year.

In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's examine how the gender advantage in longevity has changed with time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancies at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men 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.

Second, there's an increasing gap: ابر التخسيس The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very small, but it grew substantially over the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country from the chart, you can verify that these two points also apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.