Social determinants of health

The social (or wider) determinants of health refer to the social, cultural, political, economic, commercial and environmental factors that shape the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age


Some key social determinants of health are: our education and employment opportunities; our housing; our social networks; and where we live and the extent it facilitates exercise, a good diet and social connection. The Health Foundation’s programme of work on healthy lives complements our portfolio of work to improve health care delivery, and draws on our experience of making change happen in complex systems.

Our recent work and content on this topic is listed below.

Government urged to overhaul housing, transport and education policies to secure a healthy society

Press release
16 October 2019

New report from the Health Foundation finds young people’s future health at risk

Policy recommendations for young people's future health

15 October 2019

Read about the nine expert organisations selected to provide a deep dive into seven key policy areas affecting young people's future health.

How many young people are accruing the assets they need for a healthy transition into adulthood?

Working paper
October 2019

This working paper uses longitudinal datasets to explore how many young people are accumulating the key asset for future health – including a place to call home, secure and rewarding work, and support...

Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s

Consultation response
October 2019

Health Foundation response to the Cabinet Office and Department of Health and Social Care Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s consultation.

Government needs to address root causes of obesity

Press release
10 October 2019

Our response to the Chief Medical Officer’s report on childhood obesity

People in the most deprived areas of England spend less time in good health

26 September 2019

September 2019 chart of the month. 

If young people can’t afford to move to UK cities for work, that’s a health issue

18 September 2019

Young people face an impossible choice between either quality housing or good work. Jo Bibby explains the ramifications of this choice, and what needs to be considered when developing housing policy.

ITT: Exploring public attitudes and experiences of health inequalities

Invitation to tender
17 September 2019

This invitation to tender is open for application until midday 17 October 2019.

Promotion of cheap tobacco and alcohol runs counter to the government's stated objective of preventing ill health and reducing inequalities

Press release
11 September 2019

Health Foundation response to the Chancellor’s announcement of return of EU duty-free.

More strategic, long-term investment needed across government for a healthy and prosperous nation

Press release
10 September 2019

New Health Foundation report shows government is failing to invest in the nation’s health by focusing on short-term spending.

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