Why 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 does this benefit increase over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence isn’t sufficient to draw an unambiguous conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors that all play a role in women’s longevity more than men, we do not know how much each factor contributes.

We know that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However this is not because of certain biological or 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. Certain 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, 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 that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage exists everywhere, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half an hour.

In wealthy countries, the longevity advantage for women was smaller
Let’s take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart shows the male and http://www.mohajersara.org/forum/redirect.php?url=ahr0chm6ly9nbg9yew5vdguuy29tlyveocvbnyveocvbocveocvcms0lrdglqtclrdklodqlrdglquelrdglquulrdglqjmlrdkloeelrdglqjmv female lifespans when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two aspects stand out.

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

Second, there’s a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be quite small however, it has increased significantly over the course of the last century.

You can confirm that these are applicable to other countries that have data by clicking the «Change country» option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.