Why 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. Why do women live longer than men in the present and how has this advantage increased in the past? We only have partial evidence and the evidence isn’t sufficient to support an absolute conclusion. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral, and environmental factors which play a significant role in women living longer than males, we aren’t sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of weight. But this isn’t due to the fact that certain 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. There are others 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, Glorynote.com/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%B3/ 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 means that a newborn girl in every country can expect to live longer than her brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.



The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes than it is now.

We will now examine the way that female advantages in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. as well as 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.

And second, there is an ever-widening gap: female advantage in life expectancy used be very modest however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

You can confirm that these principles are also applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.

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