Why are women living 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 is the reason women live longer than men? And how is this difference growing over time? The evidence is limited and we only have limited answers. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors which all play a part in women who live longer than males, we aren’t sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

We are aware that women are living longer than males, regardless of weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. 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 Glorynote.com/%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84-%D8%A8%D9%88%D9%84%D8%AF/ – this content, 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line ; which means that in every country that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, the global differences are significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.



The female advantage in life expectancy was smaller in rich countries that it is today.

Let’s look at how the female advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women’s life expectancies at birth in the US during the period 1790 until 2014. Two points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. as well as 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.

The second is that there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be very small however it increased dramatically in the past century.

If you select the option “Change country in the chart, you are able to check that these two points apply to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.

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