Health Inequalities

Health inequalities are “differences in health status experienced by various individuals or groups in society. These can be the result of genetic and biological factors, choices made or by chance, but often they are because of unequal access to key factors that influence health like income, education, employment and social supports” (Government of Canada, 2008, p. 5). In Canada as elsewhere, health is distributed along a gradient where people in lower social positions (who earn lower income, have lower levels of education, belong to an ethnic, racialized or other marginalized group, etc.) are more likely to suffer from a variety of diseases and are more likely to die at a younger age than those in social classes slightly above them and so on up to the highest social positions. The distribution of health outcomes is intimately related to public policy. Health inequalities can be created, exacerbated, or alleviated by public policies.

In this section, you will find publications and presentations on health inequalities as a wicked problem, on intersectionality and health inequalities, on poverty reduction strategies in Canada, and on policy approaches to reducing health inequalities.

To consult our resources on health inequalities, click on the links below:


Presentations and webinars


Image: © MattGush