Why 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 makes women live more than men do today, and why has this advantage increased in the past? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn’t strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; but we don’t know exactly how significant the impact to each of these variables is.

We are aware that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not because of certain non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, Www.distancelearning.wiki/index.php?title=Why_Do_Women_Live_Longer_Than_Men 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 above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations baby girls can expect to live longer than a new boy.1

It is interesting to note that while the female advantage exists in all countries, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the difference is just half a year.



The advantage of women in life expectancy was smaller in rich countries than it is today.

Let’s examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at the time of birth in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two things stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. 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.

Second, there’s a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be very small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

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

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