Why do women live longer than men?

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 in the present, and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we only have incomplete solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that all play a role in women who live longer than males, it isn’t clear how much each factor contributes.

In spite of the precise weight, we know that at least part of the reason why women live longer than men today and not in the past, is to do with the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. What 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, علامات الحمل بولد 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 above the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl from every country could expect to live longer than her younger brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women exists across all countries, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women are 10 years older than men, while in Bhutan the difference is just half an hour.

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In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.

Let’s now look at the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. as well as women in the US live a lot, much longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used to be extremely small but it increased substantially over the course of the last century.

You can verify that the points you’ve listed are applicable to other countries with data by clicking the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.

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