Skip main navigation

What determines the health of a population?

The largest role to play in determining our health is our social context. Find out more by watching this video.

It was very interesting to read your examples and understanding of the determinants of health in the previous step. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are four determinants of health.

Of course, our genes and biological make-up is part of what determines our health. Medical care and having access to good medical care is also an important determinant of our health. And as we’ve seen, health behaviours have a significant role to play in our health outcomes.

But by far the largest role to play in determining our health is our social context, the characteristics of the societies we live in, and the position that we have in these, which can determine the opportunities and “choices” available to us.

Watch the video on this step to find out more. You can also read more on the social determinants of health on the CDC website in the ‘See also’ section below

This article is from the free online

Tackling Public Health Issues: Concepts and Evidence

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now