Social and economic influences on health
Many factors have an influence on health. In addition to our individual genetics and lifestyle choices, where we are born, grow, live, work and age also have an important influence on our health.
Determinants of health are the broad range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors that determine individual and population health.
The main determinants of health include:
- Income and social status
- Employment and working conditions
- Education and literacy
- Childhood experiences
- Physical environments
- Social supports and coping skills
- Healthy behaviours
- Access to health services
- Biology and genetic endowment
- Race / Racism
Social determinants of health refer to a specific group of social and economic factors within the broader determinants of health. These relate to an individual’s place in society, such as income, education or employment. Experiences of discrimination, racism and historical trauma are important social determinants of health for certain groups such as Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ and Black Canadians.
For more information on social determinants of health, visit The Government of Canada website.