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Why do women have longer lives 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 so more than men do today and how is this difference growing in the past? There isn’t much evidence and we have only partial solutions. Although we know that there are biological, psychological as well as environmental factors that play an integral role in women living longer than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

We have learned that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But this isn’t due to the fact that certain non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. There are other issues that are more intricate. 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, افضل شامبو وبلسم (www.rebelscon.com) 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 we can see, every country is above the diagonal parity line , this means that in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists in all countries, global differences are significant. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan, the difference is less that half a year.

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In rich countries the female advantage in longevity was smaller

Let’s examine how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US from 1790 to 2014. Two areas stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men as well as women in the US live a lot, much longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is widening: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once tiny, it has increased substantially with time.

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