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’s the reason why women are more likely to live longer than men? And why has this advantage gotten larger as time passes? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. We know there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which play a significant role in women living longer than men, we don’t know how much each one contributes.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, افضل شامبو وبلسم 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 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 , this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, even though women enjoy an advantage across all countries, differences between countries can be substantial. In Russia women have a longer life span than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half each year.



The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries than it is now.

Let’s look at the way that female advantages in terms of longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the men and women’s life expectancies at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two aspects stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in the United States live longer than they used to 100 years 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 to be quite small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

By selecting ‘Change Country in the chart, you are able to determine if these two points apply to other countries with available information: Sweden, France and افضل شامبو وبلسم the UK.

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