About Health Inequalities
Health inequalities refer to differences in health status between groups in society. These differences can be due to biological factors,individual choices, or chance, but public health evidence suggests that many are attributable to the unequal distribution of the social and economic factors that influence health (e.g. income, education, employment, social supports) and exposure to societal conditions and environments largely beyond the control of the individuals concerned.
In 2012, Canada, along with other World Health Organization (WHO) Member States, endorsed the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health, pledging to take action to promote health equity (defined by the WHO as "the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people"). Strengthening the capacity to monitor and report on health inequalities was recognized as a critical foundation for achieving meaningful progress towards this goal.
The Health Inequalities Data Tool supports Canada’s pledges under the Rio Declaration. This resource is a collaborative effort of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network (PHN), Statistics Canada, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and builds on a set of indicators of health inequalities proposed by the PHN in 2010.
The Health Inequalities Data Tool contains data on indicators of health status and health determinants, stratified by a range of social and economic characteristics (i.e. social stratifiers) meaningful to health equity. Indicators are grouped into twelve framework components.