Health Inequity


Differences in health status and mortality rates across population groups that are systemic, avoidable, unfair, and unjust. These differences are rooted in social and economic injustice, and are attributable to social, economic, and environmental conditions in which people live, work, and play (e.g., Black and brown babies tend to have much lower birth weight and higher infant mortality rates than White babies, even when controlling for individual behavior, income, and education of the mother). Health inequities are different from health disparities, though many people use these terms interchangeably. Disparities speak of differences across population groups (e.g., comparing health outcomes of an aging population to a younger population) and does not account for differences resulting from injustice.


The Boston Public Health Commission