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Blog entry by Shannon Burgos

Why do women have longer lives than men?

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. What's the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? Why is this difference growing in the past? There isn't much evidence and we have only partial solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women have longer lives than men, however, we aren't sure how strong the relative contribution to each of these variables is.

Independently of the exact number of pounds, we know that a large portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men today however not as in the past, has to be due to the fact that several significant non-biological elements have changed. These variables are evolving. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complicated. 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, تفسير الاحلام 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 تفسير الاحلام men and women. We can see that all countries are above the diagonal line of parity - this means in all countries baby girls can expect to live for longer than a new boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that, while the advantage for women is present everywhere, cross-country differences are large. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half each year.

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In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women was not as great.

Let's now look at how the female advantage in life expectancy has changed over time. The chart below shows men and women's life expectancies at the time of birth in the US from 1790 until 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women in America have longer lives than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, the gap is getting wider: Although the female advantage in life expectancy was once quite small but it has risen significantly over time.

If you select the option "Change country by country' in the chart, you are able to verify that these two points also apply to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.

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