Why Do Women Have Longer Lives Than Men

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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 so longer than men in the present and how have these advantages gotten bigger in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we have only incomplete solutions. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer life spans than men, however, we do not know how significant the impact of each factor is.

Independently of the exact number of pounds, we know that at least a portion of the reason why women live longer than men and not previously, has to do with the fact that several fundamental 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. We can see that every country is above the diagonal line of parity - this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart shows that, even though women enjoy an advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries can be significant. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men; in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women was smaller
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The following chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, صبغ الشعر بالاسود (please click the up coming website page) the gap is getting wider: صبغ الشعر بالاسود Although the female advantage in life expectancy was quite small but it has risen significantly with time.

When you click on the option "Change country in the chart, you are able to confirm that the two points apply to other countries that have available information: Sweden, France and the UK.