In recent years, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, along with other national, provincial and regional organizations, has expanded the reporting of health indicators by socio-economic status and demographic factors.
These efforts have improved our understanding of current patterns of inequalities in health and factors influencing health. Monitoring health inequalities in a systematic and comparable way over time helps to identify vulnerable populations and to examine the impact that policies and interventions may have on the health of Canadians.
Information on health inequalities
How do we measure health inequalities? CIHI provides recommended definitions for a selection of equity stratifiers that we can use to measure health inequalities. These definitions were developed in collaboration with Statistics Canada and pan-Canadian expert working groups. They are intended to facilitate and encourage a harmonized approach to data collection, performance measurement and reporting initiatives. For more information, see In Pursuit of Health Equity: Defining Stratifiers for Measuring Health Inequality — A Focus on Age, Sex, Gender, Income, Education and Geographic Location.
Did you know? 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. Hospitalization rates are also at least 2 times higher for kids living in households in which the highest level of education is less than high school, compared with those living in households in which the highest level of education is a master’s degree or doctorate. For more, see 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 (July 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)
- Treatment of Preventable Dental Cavities in Preschoolers: A Focus on Day Surgery Under General Anesthesia (Oct. 2013)
- Lifetime Distributional Effects of Publicly Financed Health Care in Canada (May 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)
- Health Inequalities Interactive Tool
- Canadian Marginalization Index (CAN-Marg)
- Deprivation in Canadian Cities: An Analytical Tool
- Equity Action: Health Equity Tools for Health System Managers — Self-study course (2014)
- Contemporary Use of Area-Based Socio-Economic Measures — Journal issue (2012)
- Exploring Urban Environments and Inequalities in Health: A Scoping Review of Interventions (2012)
- Reducing Gaps: Using Area-Based Socio-Economic Measures to Explore Population Health — Self-study course (2012)
- Exploring Urban Environments and Inequalities in Health (July 2010)