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Why do women live longer than men?

Merlin Dunstan (2022-04-23)


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 longer than men and how is this difference growing over time? We only have partial evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an informed conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, but we don't know exactly how much the influence of each factor is.

It is known that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. But this is not due to the fact that certain 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 complex. For example, افضل شامبو وبلسم 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line - it means that in all nations baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

This graph shows that even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than males; while in Bhutan the gap is less than half each year.

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

First, افضل شامبو وبلسم there's an upward trend. and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country from the chart, you are able to verify that these two points also apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.