Inequalities in health are differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups due to the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. There is an uneven distribution of the risk factors associated with many chronic diseases, with the burden borne disproportionately by those in the lower socio-economic groups. People with higher socio-economic positions in society have a greater array of life chances, more opportunities to lead a more fulfilling life and tend to have better health.
One of the goals of Healthy Ireland is to reduce health inequalities. This is linked to improving the proportion of people in our population who are healthy because some groups in our society continue to experience poorer health than others, even if overall health is improving.