Health Inequalities

Drivers of inequalities

In this section we draw attention to some of the main drivers of inequality in youth health. There is a range of economic and social factors that combine to influence young people’s health outcomes, which are known as the social determinants of health.

One in five secondary school aged children are eligible for free school meals


21.5% of 10-24 year olds classify themselves as belonging to an ethnic minorityA significant proportion of young people in the UK are from ethnic minorities. In the population as a whole more young people than older people fall into ethnic minority groups. However the most recent data are still those from the 2011 census and are thus likely to be out of date. For young people aged 10-19 at this time 21.5% classified themselves as falling into a category other than white British.

Analyses by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2020) have shown that out of the 18 individual ethnic groups in the census, Black African (32.3%), Black Other (31.6%), and Black Caribbean (29.2%) people were the most likely to live in the neighbourhoods most deprived in relation to housing and services. People from the Pakistani ethnic group were the most likely to live in the 10% of neighbourhoods most deprived in relation to education, skills and training (27.4%), health and disability (16.0%), crime (21.2%) and the living environment (28.2%). These data are not broken down for the 10-24 age group.

All data correct as of 1st May 2022