Scotland country profile
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Demographics and health outcomes in Scotland

We’re using Scotland as a case study for the course, as it is where we, the course providers, live and is our best point of reference for exploring the big issue of health inequalities.

The inequalities we face in Scotland are similar to those of many other countries, but, we have a big variation in a small land area. Extremes of poverty and affluence sit closely together here, and health and social outcomes are experienced in dramatically different ways.

Health in Scotland is poor compared to other Western European countries, and the life expectancy of Scottish residents is low compared to other developed countries, with a notable exception of the USA which is also low compared to other industrialised nations. There, life expectancy at birth for males is 76 and females, 81.

Another good indication of the state of a nation’s health is to consider how many years of healthy life its population experiences. Within Scotland, the extremes between the richest and poorest are shown again, as the poorest 10% of Scots can expect about 20 fewer years of healthy life than Scotland’s richest.

Questions for discussion

  • The Scotland country profile will give you some insight into the demographics and population health in Scotland. Does your country’s population have a similar age distribution as ours?
  • How do life expectancy and other factors compare?

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This article is from the free online course:

Tackling Inequalities Through Health and Social Care Design

University of Dundee

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