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Health Equity: Exploring the Social and Economic Dimensions


Effective action to eliminate health inequities and establish the foundations for health requires organized, systematic efforts by organizations and individuals. The major advances in life expectancy in the U.S. that occurred in the early part of the twentieth century stemmed from massive social change and the movements that supported those changes, such as the end to child labor, the introduction of housing and factory codes, the eight-hour work day, improved wage and work standards, and so forth. Individuals, community leaders, employers, policymakers and health professionals have the responsibility to show leadership through a variety of actions.

 This article originally appeared in the 2009 edition of America's Health Rankings™, A Call to Action for People and Their Communities.

Primary Toolkit:

Health Equity and Social Justice Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Health Equity, Social Justice, Strategic Planning, Workforce Competency


Institutional Author:

Richard Hofrichter, PhD




The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.