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Health Inequalities

Health inequalities are the avoidable and unfair differences in physical and mental health outcomes between individuals or groups aged 10-25.

Young people from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences can have different physical and mental health outcomes – these are “health inequalities”. Research has shown a clear link between income, housing, education, employment and the other factors of people’s wider lives, and poorer health outcomes. Adolescence is a defining period for young people’s health, when inequalities between individuals and groups can become established and embedded. These health inequalities have been brought into sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Differences caused by these social factors are unfair and preventable. We need to know more about health inequalities experienced by young people in their teens and early adulthood, including how they occur and how we can intervene.

In drawing together publicly available data on inequalities in health outcomes for 10-24 year olds we highlight the extent of the problem and the need for prevention and early intervention. 

Health Inequalities
AYPH Health Inequalities Briefing Paper

What does “health inequalities” mean for young people’s health?

Read our briefing paper which provides a clear definition and conceptual framework for understanding young people’s health inequalities.

Drivers in Inequality

Drivers of inequality

A range of economic and social factors combine to influence young people’s health outcomes, such as education and employment. Certain groups of young people are more likely to experience health inequalities, including Looked After Children and young people in the youth justice system.

Levers for action

Levers for action

There are a number of ways in which “social determinants” are translated into health outcomes, including barriers to services or environments that do not promote healthy behaviours.  These touchpoints can be levers for action to help reducing health inequalities.

Inequalities in health outcomes

Inequalities in health outcomes

In this section we provide a unique collection of data illustrating the differences that young people aged 10-24 can experience in their physical and mental health outcomes, focusing on economic deprivation. Young people from deprived areas are often more likely to have poorer health outcomes compared to those in the least deprived areas.