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.

Mortality and life expectancy trends in the UK

November 2019

Since 2011 improvements in life expectancy in the UK have stalled, and for certain groups of the population, gone into reverse. This analysis explores what has happened, who is affected and what is dr...

ITT: Strategic communications support for the Collaboration for Wellbeing and Health

Invitation to tender
12 November 2019
Apply now

This invitation to tender is open for application until 23.59 on Monday 2 December 2019. 

How are the political promises for health and social care stacking up?

30 October 2019

Ahead of a general election, Jennifer Dixon looks at what the parties have pledged so far.

Why we need to rebalance children’s services spending to invest in a healthier future

28 October 2019

A shift in spend towards reactive children’s services means the wide-reaching benefits of prevention are being lost, argues Nadya Mihaylova.

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. 

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more