Why Do Women Have Longer Lives Than Men

From Community Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 reason women have a longer life span than men? And how does this benefit increase as time passes? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to reach an unambiguous conclusion. We know there are behavioral, biological as well as environmental factors which play a significant role in women who live longer than males, we aren't sure the extent to which each factor plays a role.

We are aware that women live longer than men, regardless of weight. However it is not due to the fact that 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. 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, every country is above the diagonal parity line - this means in all countries a newborn girl can expect to live longer than a newborn boy.1

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

In countries with high incomes, the female advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
We will now examine how the female advantage in life expectancy 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 things stand out.

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

And كيفية ممارسة العلاقة الزوجية فى الاسلام second, there is an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used be extremely small but it increased substantially during the last century.

You can confirm that the points you've listed are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking on the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.