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The Influence of Social Determinants on Health

The population’s health depends on various factors, and social determinants are among the most crucial. It is common knowledge that emerging countries have low-quality healthcare services, whereas more developed regions exhibit higher health prosperity rates. Therefore, general determinants may be defined as the conditions a person was born and brought up in, and lives within at the moment. More specifically, common factors include education, socioeconomic status, the area of living, employment, and access to healthcare. It is vital to be able to identify and distinct social elements of health to further address and acquire the strategies for enhancing it. Thus, the paper will discuss the influence of certain social determinants on population health.

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Child mortality rates are one of the primary identifiers of the country’s weak medical state. Association for prevention teaching and research has identified the list of places with the highest infant fatality rates. The top 3 anti-leaders were Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Chad. The chart states that Sierra Leone kids are 87 times more likely to die than those from Sweden (Cannuscio, 2020). Such trends also may point out the life expectancy in such countries, as both newborns and older adults are sensitive groups, requiring constant care.

Nations unable to provide appropriate medical treatment to infants and the elderly notably display low life expectancy (Cannuscio, 2020). Evident that most of the places with the highest death classification are situated in Africa, which outlines an issue of lack of access to healthcare services, causing such unfavorable circumstances. Nevertheless, differences in mortality are observed across the entire socioeconomic gradient in progressive European countries, which prove that social determinants are highly accountable for the health state of people all over the world.

The Difference in Longevity and Infant Mortality by Race and Education

Despite the constant advancement in the healthcare sector across the world, disparities in the longevity among various racial groups and education levels still exist in each region. In recent years the mortality rates for adolescents of ethnic minorities or children with lower education have significantly increased in the United States (Rogers, Lawrence, Hummer, & Tilstra, 2017). Despite such an alarming statistic, there is an evident lack of studies or reports researching the topic. However, the few existing reports confirm that Hispanic, and, especially, African American children experience exceptionally high mortality rates comparing to Caucasians.

Such trends are confirmed by the National Centers for health statistics. They demonstrate that African-American individuals are leading the charts of child fatality rates, regardless of education levels (Cannuscio, 2020). American-Indians are second in this anti-trend, indicating prominently high juvenile mortality, followed by white people with less than high-school education in third place. Therefore, policymakers must take into account such unfavorable data for developing educational enhancements for children of minority groups with low socioeconomic status to pro the longevity and reduce infant mortality.

Environmental Social Determinant

The environment plays one of the most significant roles in determining the health of the person. The baseline for the objectives may be identified by early childhood education and development, enrollment in higher education, high school graduation, language, and literacy. Combined, these constituents may provide either favorable sustenance contingencies or disruptive ones that threaten the well-being of a person. Children are predominantly in the high-risk zone of acquiring health issues because of unfavorable living circumstances or economical disadvantages (Rubin & Merrick, 2014). Therefore, the existing conditions play a crucial role in determining the wellness of each person.

The Environmental objective used in Healthy People 2020 uses a single population target, which is set for each goal. Such a method is easy to comprehend and communicate about and likewise may be used without a referencing population. For the overall group, a general population target was considered to be established, based on the justification that is achievable with reach for the wider community (Secretary’s Advisory Committee, n.d.). The focus was put on the existing data that aids in tracking progress from previous years.

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The concept of environmental effect on well-being targets each individual regardless of age, race, or other social factors. Living conditions affect the quality of life and the lifespan and are responsible for health disparities. The statistic demonstrates that 23% of all deaths and 26% of childhood mortality are due to preventable environmental factors (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2019). Such trends indicate that one in nearly four deaths is caused by environmental conditions, which calls for a disturbing problem.

The role of the built surroundings and its impact on well-being has become more extensive in recent years; however, the challenge of proving its direct “causality” remains relevant. Such a challenge becomes a barrier for evaluating the surroundings and compiling common conclusions regarding the issue (Carr, 2016). State and local departments must be responsible for providing opportunities for improving the existing circumstances of specific areas and accomplish preventive measures. Education, housing safety improvements, and expanding healthcare access are all essential areas for enhancing the environment, which, subsequently, will improve the wellness of the residents.


Social factors immensely influence the health conditions of people all over the world. Statistics prove how countries with poor healthcare and low ability to access it demonstrate exceptionally high child mortality rates and a decrease in the lifespan. The longevity of individuals also highly depends on the socioeconomic statuses, precisely their education level. Racial differences still play a significant role in determining health access and material opportunities. Considering all these factors, the environment of the person is one of the main constituents in establishing the wellness of an individual. The growing importance of promoting living ecosystem improvements is attracting more attention to the scholars, providing confidence for the prompt resolution of the issue.


Cannuscio, C. (2020). Social Determinants of Health. Web.

Carr, S. J. (2016). Insights in Public Health. Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health, 75(1), 22–24. Web.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2019). Environmental health. Web.

Rubin, I. L., & Merrick, J. (2014). Environmental health : Home, school and community. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

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Rogers, R. G., Lawrence, E. M., Hummer, R. A., & Tilstra, A. M. (2017). Racial/ethnic differences in early life mortality in the united states. Biodemography and Social Biology, 63(3), 189–205. Web.

Secretary’s Advisory Committee. (n.d.). Approach to developing healthy people 2020 target-setting methods recommendations of the secretary’s advisory committee. Web.

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