Could where you are born influence how long you live?
People living just a few blocks apart may have vastly different opportunities to live a long life in part because of their neighborhood. Unfortunately, significant gaps in life expectancy at birth persist across many United States cities, towns, ZIP codes and neighborhoods.
What is health equity?
We believe that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthier life, no matter who we are, where we live, or how much money we make. This is health equity.
Personal responsibility plays a key role in health, but the choices we make depend on the choices we have available to us. We must work together to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make healthy choices, and to achieve better health for all.
Health equity acknowledges that it is hard to be healthy without access to good jobs, homes and schools. It requires a concerted effort to increase opportunities to be healthier for everyone – especially those whose obstacles are greatest.
Is equity the same as equality?
No, equity is not the same as equality.
As seen in the picture above, the four individuals in the upper half of the picture have all been treated equally – that is, they have been given the same bike to ride. However, one of these individuals clearly benefits more than the others, who are either too small, too large, or physically unable to use the bike.
In order to be fair and just, each individual would need a bike specifically tailored to their needs, as seen in the lower half of the picture. Now everyone can ride.