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Why do women live longer than men?

Merlin Dunstan (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 is the reason women live longer than men? And how has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? The evidence is limited and we're left with only incomplete answers. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological and environmental variables that all play a role in women who live longer than males, افضل كريم للشعر it isn't clear the extent to which each factor plays a role.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues that are more intricate. 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, افضل كريم للشعر 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 over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can be expected to live for longer than her younger brother.

This chart illustrates that, although women have an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

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In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies when they were born in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there's an upward trend: Men and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be quite small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

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