Why do 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 women live longer than men? And how is this difference growing in the past? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we’re only able to provide some solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that all play a role in women who live longer than men, we do not know how much each one contributes.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But, this is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. 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 افضل شامبو وبلسم men and women. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line – this means that in all countries the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart below shows that even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries could be significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.



In the richer countries, the female advantage in longevity was not as great.

We will now examine how the advantage of women in terms of longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the male and female life expectancies at the birth in the US between 1790 to 2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer today than a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was quite small however, it has grown significantly with time.

You can check if these principles are also applicable to other countries that have data by selecting the “Change country” option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.

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