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Why are women living longer than men?

Ferne Sisk (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? Why is this difference growing as time passes? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to draw an informed conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables that play an integral role in women who live longer than men, اوضاع الجماع we do not know the extent to which each factor plays a role.

We have learned that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. But, this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. These factors are changing. 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 over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women exists across all countries, the global differences are significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan there is a difference of less that half a year.

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The advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries that it is today.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The next chart compares male and female life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Women and men in America live longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was extremely small It has significantly increased with time.

By selecting 'Change Country in the chart, you will be able to check that these two points apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.