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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. What's the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? Why does this benefit increase over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence is not strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, However, we're not sure how much the influence to each of these variables is.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men do today however not as previously, is to have to do with the fact that several fundamental non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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 women. It is clear that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can be expected to live for longer than her brothers.

It is interesting to note that, while the advantage for women exists in all countries, difference between countries is huge. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In countries with high incomes, the women's advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's now look at the way that female advantages in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below shows gender-based and تحاميل مهبلية female-specific life expectancy at the time of birth in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. and women in the US live a lot, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be very small however it increased dramatically over the last century.

When you click on the option "Change country by country' in the chart, confirm that the two points are also applicable to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.