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 is the reason women live more than men do today and why have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? There is only limited evidence and the evidence isn’t strong enough to make an unambiguous conclusion. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, العاب زوجية we aren’t sure what the contribution of each of these factors is.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However, this is not due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. What are these new 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, every country is above the diagonal line of parity – this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart illustrates that, while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences could be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less that half a year.



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

We will now examine the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancies at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US live much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, there’s an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small but it increased substantially during the last century.

It is possible to verify that the points you’ve listed are applicable to other countries with information by clicking on the “Change country” option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.