This video fact file looks at what health inequities are, provides examples and shows their cost to society. Health inequities are systematic differences in the health status of different population groups according to socioeconomic status. These inequities have significant social and economic costs, in addition to the health costs, both to individuals and societies.
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. There is ample evidence that addressing equity in societal factors (‘the social determinants of health’) including education, employment status, environment, income level, gender equity and inclusion/non-discrimination is critical to improving health equity and influencing population health in a positive way.