Why are women living 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. Why do women live longer than men and why does this benefit increase over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn’t strong enough to make a definitive conclusion. We know there are biological, psychological, and Www.blacktop.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=glorynote.com environmental factors which play a significant role in the longevity of women over males, it isn’t clear how much each one contributes.

We are aware that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However this isn’t due to the fact that certain 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. Others 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. As you can see, all countries are above the diagonal line of parity – this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live for longer than a newborn boy.1

It is interesting to note that while the female advantage exists across all countries, the cross-country differences are large. In Russia women are 10 years older than men; in Bhutan the difference is less than half each year.



In wealthy countries, the female advantage in longevity used to be smaller

Let’s now look at how the female advantage in longevity has changed over time. The chart below illustrates the male and female life expectancy at the time of birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two distinct points stand out.

There is an upward trend: Men and women in the US are living much, much longer than they did 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be extremely small however it increased dramatically during the last century.

Using the option ‘Change country from the chart, you will be able to determine if these two points apply to other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.

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