The Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts


"We have known for a very long time that health inequalities exist. These inequalities affect all Canadians but they have especially strong impacts upon the health of those living in poverty. Adding social sciences evidence – the understanding of social structures and of power relationships – we have now accumulated indisputable evidence that “social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.”

This quote is included in the final report of the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. In Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts, authors Juha Mikkonen and Dennis Raphael provide a Canadian picture of health inequality.

This resource looks at 14 key social determinants of health and asks why each of these determinants are important to health; how we compare in this area to other wealthy developed nations; and how the quality of the specific social determinant of health can be improved.

  1. Income and Income Distribution
  2. Education
  3. Unemployment and Job Security
  4. Employment and Working Conditions
  5. Early Childhood Development
  6. Food Insecurity
  7. Housing
  8. Social Exclusion
  9. Social Safety Net
  10. Health Services
  11. Aboriginal Status
  12. Gender
  13. Race
  14. Disability

The recommendations the BC Poverty Reduction Plan , the 2012 Child Poverty Report Card, and the Hunger Count 2012 featured in this edition of the Keeping in Touch eNewsletter all provide ideas on how to create greater health and social equality in Canada.

Courage my friends, ‘tis not too late to build a better world.

– Tommy Douglas, Father of Medicare in Canada