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Why women 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 makes women live much longer than men today, and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? There isn't much evidence and we're left with only some answers. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than males, we aren't sure how much each factor contributes.

We have learned that women live longer than men, تحاميل مهبلية regardless of weight. But this isn't because of certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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, 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line ; this means in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live for longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be substantial. In Russia women live 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the difference is only half a year.

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In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US live much, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was once quite small, it has increased substantially over time.

You can verify that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.