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Why do women have longer lives 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 live longer than men? And why is this difference growing as time passes? There isn't much evidence and we're only able to provide some solutions. We recognize that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, but we don't know exactly how much the influence of each of these factors is.

Independently of the exact weight, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men in the present and not in the past, is to be due to the fact that some fundamental non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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 زيوت تطويل الشعر men and women. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - which means that in every country baby girls can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, although there is a women's advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half an hour.

In rich countries the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the men and women's life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be very small It has significantly increased with time.

You can verify 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.