Social inequalities in health

Material and social deprivation index 2021

In Québec, the deprivation index was created first and foremost to overcome the lack of socioeconomic data in most administrative databases. Developing an ecological proxy was the only way to monitor social inequalities related to important health issues such as mortality, hospitalization and the use of health services.


Wellbeing Budgeting: A Critical Public Health Perspective

In New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, and Finland, among other countries, wellbeing approaches to policy have become a growing trend over the past decade. Attention to the wellbeing and quality of life of the population has the potential to act on upstream determinants of health and, thus, to be a significant boon for healthy public policy. The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP) seeks to explore the significance of this policy turn. In this briefing note, we invite…
Experts opinion

Disparities in mental health and its determinants among Québec high school students by language of instruction

This paper provides a comparative analysis of several mental health indicators and determinants by language of instruction. All data discussed in this analysis is from the Québec Health Survey of High School Students 2016–2017.

Research report, study and analysis

Housing and Social Inequalities in Health in Times of COVID-19: Strategies for Promoting Affordable Quality Housing

This document begins with a review of how housing can influence the health and quality of life of its occupants. It then presents the findings on the impact of housing on the health of the Québec population during the COVID-19 period. As a response to this impact, this report proposes strategies for improving housing conditions and reducing social inequalities in health, starting with specific actions that can support households whose housing conditions have become increasingly unstable…

Rapid knowledge synthesis

Reducing Social Inequalities in Health (SIH): Working together Toward a More Equitable, Healthier and Resilient Society

For ministries and organizations to be better positioned to collaboratively design new ways to reduce social inequalities in health (SIH), there is a need to clarify the pivotal role of reducing social inequalities across all levels of government and cross-sectoral efforts in preventing negative impacts on population health, and the potential contribution of multiple sectors to improving the health and well-being of the Québec population.​


The health of the population is…

Synthesis and summary

Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities: Social Determinants of Health and Social Determinants of Health Inequalities

“The social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born,grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics” (World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health [CSDH WHO], 2016).

“The underlying social structures and processes that systematically assign people to different social…

Synthesis and summary

Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities

This document is intended to enable public health actors to more easily distinguish between the most widespread policy approaches that have been proposed to reduce health inequalities. The approaches that we will discuss are:

Political economy, Macro social policies, Intersectionality, Life course approach, Settings approach, Approaches that aim at living conditions, Approaches that target communities, and Approaches aimed at individuals.

Health inequalities

Synthesis and summary

Health Inequalities and Intersectionality

Intersectionality is a way to think about and act upon social inequality and discrimination. It offers a promising approach to these issues within public policy and within public health. This briefing note briefly explains intersectionality and explores the potential of an intersectional approach to reducing health inequalities.1

Work in the field of public health has recognized for some time that the social location2 of…

Synthesis and summary

Pan-Canadian meeting on Health in All Policies (HiAP): Québec City, October 9, 2019 - Report

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an increasingly important approach for systematically addressing the social determinants of health at all levels of government. HiAP refers to “an approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity”.

In Canada, HiAP is on the radar of several governments, organizations and…

Synthesis and summary

Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities: A practical exercise using the example of food insecurity

This document presents an exercise to be used in conjunction with the briefing note, Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities, which we advise you to read before doing the exercise. This document is available at:

We hope to provide practical experience in distinguishing between the different approaches and to stimulate reflection…

Training material