Two people walking on a street Two people walking on a street

1. Health and life expectancy

Health and life expectancy

First, society should aim to eliminate the effect of socio-economic background on health and life expectancy

It is a significant challenge to:

  • Close the differences in health and life expectancy between the highest and the lowest socio-economic groups

Men and women in the highest socio-economic group can expect to live up to 7 years longer than those in the lower socio-economic groups (based on life expectancy at birth). This overall disparity is associated with a lifetime's experience of other disadvantages and health inequalities. Addressing these disparities would not only make a significant difference in individual's lives, it would reduce costs to the public purse in terms of lost productivity and calls on NHS services.

  • Close the infant mortality gap between ethnic groups

Infant mortality is a rare phenomenon, affecting a fraction of a per of children born each year. The sad fact is, though, that it affects people from some backgrounds more frequently than others: Pakistani and Black Caribbean babies are twice as likely to die in their first year than White British or Bangladeshi babies. A society committed to equality cannot be indifferent to such a disparity, and we consider it a significant challenge to understand its causes and to close it.

Last updated: 25 May 2016