Why women are more likely to 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 main reason women have a longer life span than men? What is the reason has this advantage gotten larger in the past? The evidence isn’t conclusive and we only have limited solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors which all play a part in women’s longevity more than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However this is not because of certain biological or 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. Certain are more complicated. 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, صبغ الشعر بالاسود 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 all countries are over the line of parity diagonally. This means that a newborn girl from any country can expect to live longer than her younger brother.

This graph shows that although women have an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men; in Bhutan the difference is less than half a year.



The advantage for women in life expectancy was much lower in developed countries that it is today.

We will now examine the way that female advantages in life expectancy has changed over time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be very small however, it has grown significantly over time.

You can confirm that these points are also applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the “Change country” option on the chart. This includes the UK, صبغ الشعر بالاسود France, and Sweden.

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