SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH – ABOUT

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

SDOH can be grouped into 5 domains:

  • Economic Stability
  • Education Access and Quality
  • Health Care Access and Quality
  • Neighborhood and Built Environment
  • Social and Community Context


Social determinants of health (SDOH) have a major impact on people’s health, well-being, and quality of life. Examples of SDOH include:

  • Safe housing, transportation, and neighborhoods
  • Racism, discrimination, and violence
  • Education, job opportunities, and income
  • Access to nutritious foods and physical activity opportunities
  • Polluted air and water
  • Language and literacy skills


SDOH also contribute to wide health disparities and inequities. For example, people who don’t have access to grocery stores with healthy foods are less likely to have good nutrition. That raises their risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity — and even lowers life expectancy relative to people who do have access to healthy foods.

Just promoting healthy choices won’t eliminate these and other health disparities. Instead, public health organizations and their partners in sectors like education, transportation, and housing need to take action to improve the conditions in people’s environments.

ECONOMIC STABILITY

The connection between the financial resources people have – income, cost of living, and socioeconomic status – and their health. This area includes key issues such as poverty, employment, food security, and housing stability.

EDUCATION ACCESS AND QUALITY

The connection of education to health and wellbeing. This domain includes key issues such as graduating from high school, enrollment in higher education, educational attainment in general, language and literacy, and early childhood education and development.

HEALTH CARE ACCESS AND QUALITY

The connection between people’s access to and understanding of health services and their own health. This domain includes key issues such as access to healthcare, access to primary care, health insurance coverage, and health literacy.

NEIGHBORHOOD AND BUILT ENVIROMENT

The connection between where a person lives – housing, neighborhood, and environment – and their health and wellbeing. This includes topics like quality of housing, access to transportation, availability of healthy foods, air and water quality, and neighborhood crime and violence.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY CONTEXT

The connection between characteristics of the contexts within which people live, learn, work, and play, and their health and wellbeing. This includes topics like cohesion within a community, civic participation, discrimination, conditions in the workplace, and incarceration.

COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT
COMMUNITY HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PLAN