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Why do women live longer than men?


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. Why do women live longer than men in the present and why does this benefit increase over time? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we’re only able to provide some answers. While we are aware that there are biological, psychological and environmental factors that all play a role in women living longer than males, it isn’t clear the extent to which each factor plays a role.

It is known that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However it is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

The chart above shows that, while the advantage for women exists everywhere, علامات الحمل بولد the global differences are significant. In Russia, women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.



In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was previously smaller.

We will now examine how the gender advantage in terms of longevity has changed over time. The next chart shows the male and female lifespans at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two things stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is increasing: While the advantage of women in terms of life expectancy was very small but it has risen significantly with time.

If you select the option “Change country in the chart, you are able to verify that these two points are also applicable to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.


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