CIHI, with other national, provincial and regional organizations, is expanding the measurement of health inequalities through the reporting of health indicators by socio-economic status and demographic factors.
Measuring health inequalities across subpopulations can help advance health equity — a growing priority for health systems in Canada. Health equity is the absence of unjust, avoidable differences in health and health care access, quality or outcomes across the population.
Health and health system performance reports routinely include indicator averages and occasionally stratify these indicators for subpopulations. By focusing on the averages, there is a risk that overall population health and health system performance could improve without progress toward health equity.
Information on health inequalities
Measuring Health Inequalities: A Toolkit — Developed in collaboration with key health system stakeholders, this toolkit assists analysts and researchers with measuring and reporting on health inequalities. It provides guidelines and resources for stratifying health indicators to measure health inequalities in a standardized and systematic way.
Watch this 4-minute introductory video, then explore the toolkit.
Measuring Health Inequalities: An Introduction
Asthma hospitalization rates among children and youth — Canadian kids are half as likely to be hospitalized for asthma now as they were 10 years ago. Despite this improvement, kids living in the poorest neighbourhoods have asthma hospitalization rates that are 1.5 times higher than the rates for kids living in the richest neighbourhoods. There are also large education-related inequalities, especially among boys. Read more about asthma hospital stays by children and youth.
- Asthma Hospitalizations Among Children and Youth in Canada: Trends and Inequalities (Apr. 2018)
- In Pursuit of Health Equity: Defining Stratifiers for Measuring Health Inequality (Apr. 2018)
- Pan-Canadian Dialogue to Advance the Measurement of Equity in Health Care: Proceedings Report (Jul. 2016)
- Trends in Income-Related Health Inequalities in Canada (Nov. 2015)
- Children Vulnerable in Areas of Early Development: A Determinant of Child Health (Oct. 2014)
- End-Stage Renal Disease Among Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Treatment and Outcomes (Feb. 2013)
- Treatment of Preventable Dental Cavities in Preschoolers: A Focus on Day Surgery Under General Anesthesia (Oct. 2013)
- Hospital Care for Heart Attacks Among First Nations, Inuit and Métis (Jan. 2013)
- Disparities in Primary Health Care Experiences Among Canadians With Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (Mar. 2012)
- Urban Physical Environments and Health Inequalities: A Scoping Review of Interventions (Feb. 2012)
- Urban Physical Environments and Health Inequalities (Mar. 2011)
- Hospitalization Disparities by Socio-Economic Status for Males and Females (Oct. 2010)