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. What’s the reason why women live longer than men? And why is this difference growing over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an absolute conclusion. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological and environmental factors that all play a role in women living longer than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

We are aware that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this isn’t due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Other 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, 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 every country is above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from any country can expect to live longer than her older brother.

This chart is interesting in that it shows that the advantage of women exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women have a longer life span than men, while in Bhutan the difference is less than half one year.

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In countries with high incomes, the advantage of women in longevity was smaller

We will now examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed with time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancy at birth in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two distinct features stand out.

First, there’s an upward trend. Both men and women in the US live a lot, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام there’s an ever-widening gap: female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be quite small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

By selecting ‘Change Country from the chart, you will be able to confirm that the two points also apply to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.

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