Abstract

The WHO European Region has seen remarkable health gains in populations that have experienced progressive improvements in the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work. Inequities persist, however, both between and within countries. This review of inequities in health between and within countries across the 53 Member States of the Region was commissioned to support the development of the new European policy framework for health and well-being, Health 2020. Much more is understood now about the extent and social causes of these inequities. The European review builds on the global evidence and recommends policies to ensure that progress can be made in reducing health inequities and the health divide across all countries, including those with low incomes. Action is needed on the social determinants of health, across the life-course and in wider social and economic spheres to achieve greater health equity and protect future generations