Our What drives health inequalities? evidence hub brings together data, insights and analysis exploring how the circumstances in which we live shape our health.

Good health is important for both individuals and society as a whole, but not everyone has the same opportunities for good health. Extensive research has shown that differences in social and economic circumstances lead to deep inequalities in health outcomes.

The What drives health inequalities? evidence hub explores these social and economic circumstances. It brings together a wide range of data and insight to explore:

  • why circumstances such as our housing, transport and work matter for health 

  • the trends and inequalities that need to be addressed to build a fairer, healthier society. 

The topics have been selected broadly based on the eight key determinants listed in our What makes us healthy? quick guide. They are based on the wider determinants of health – the social, cultural, political, economic, commercial and environmental factors that shape the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

We will be adding new topics and subtopics to the evidence hub on a regular basis, as well as updating the existing content. To find out when new content has been added to the site, sign up for updates.

Exploring the impact of COVID-19 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the wider governmental and societal response, have brought health inequalities into sharp focus. 

The evidence hub explores long-term trends in the factors that drive health inequalities. Much of the analysis uses large official data sources that have a significant time lag, meaning that they currently do not capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Each topic has a section exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, using emerging evidence and research. As we update the evidence hub we will be introducing more analysis exploring the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities. 

Voluntary compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics

The evidence hub provides robust, high quality information on health inequalities and the factors that drive them. As part of this we voluntarily adhere to the Code of Practice for Statistics from the UK Statistics Authority.

Evidence hub: voluntary compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics

Get in touch

If you have any feedback or questions about the evidence hub, please contact Adam Tinson, Senior Analyst, at adam.tinson@health.org.uk


David Finch

Assistant Director

Long reads

Long read

How transport offers a route to better health

25 February 2021

About 21 mins to read

Long read

Transport affects the health of people across society, in multiple ways. Investing in transport is...

Long read

Better housing is crucial for our health and the COVID-19 recovery

28 December 2020

About 27 mins to read

Long read

Housing problems such as overcrowding, poor quality and unaffordable homes are a threat to health....

Further reading

Quick guide

What makes us healthy?

March 2018
Quick guide

This guide explores how a person’s opportunity for health is influenced by factors outside the...


Watch: What makes us healthy?


To understand what makes us healthy, we need to look at the bigger picture. Watch our animation to...


COVID-19 impact inquiry


This UK-wide inquiry explored the relationship between the pandemic and people's health and health...


Blog series: COVID-19, health and health inequalities


We round up emerging evidence on the unequal impact of the pandemic and the wider governmental and...

This is part of Evidence hub: What drives health inequalities?

Data, insights and analysis exploring how the circumstances in which we live shape our health
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Follow us on Twitter
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