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 why has this advantage increased in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach a definitive conclusion. While we are aware that there are behavioral, biological and اوضاع الجماع environmental variables which play a significant role in women who live longer than males, it isn’t clear how much each one contributes.

Independently of the exact amount, we can say that at a minimum, the reason why women live longer than men today however not as previously, is to relate to the fact that several important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some are more complex. 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. As you can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

The chart below shows that although there is a women’s advantage in all countries, the differences across countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of only half a year.



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

Let’s look at how female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The chart below shows gender-based and female-specific life expectancy at the birth in the US during the period 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. 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.

The second is that there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be quite small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

By selecting ‘Change Country by country’ in the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points also apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.

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