10 facts on health inequities and their causes

October 2011

Young girl standing by a fishing boat
Zoltan Balogh

There is ample evidence that social factors, including education, employment status, income level, gender and ethnicity have a marked influence on how healthy a person is. In all countries – whether low-, middle- or high-income – there are wide disparities in the health status of different social groups. The lower an individual’s socio-economic position, the higher their risk of poor health.

Health inequities are systematic differences in the health status of different population groups. These inequities have significant social and economic costs both to individuals and societies.

This fact file looks at what health inequities are, provides examples and shows their cost to society.

Read more about health inequities

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