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. What’s the main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? And why is this difference growing over time? The evidence is limited and we’re left with only incomplete solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we do not know how much the influence of each one of these factors is.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But it is not due to the fact that certain biological or non-biological factors have changed. What are the factors that are changing? Some are well known and Www.philipkingsley.com/fbuilder/index/active/referrer/aHR0cHM6Ly9nbG9yeW5vdGUuY29tLyVkOCVhOCVkOCViNCVkOCViMSVkOCVhOS8/ 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, 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, 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

This chart shows that, although women have an advantage in all countries, the differences across countries could be significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is less than half each year.



The female advantage in life expectancy was less in developed countries as compared to the present.

Let’s now look at how the advantage of women in longevity has changed over time. The following chart shows the men and women’s life expectancies at birth in the US from 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both men and women in the US have a much longer life span longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is an increasing gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

If you select the option “Change country’ on the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points are applicable to the other countries having available data: Sweden, France and the UK.

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