Skip to content


Health inequalities and regional productivity

Find all our latest news, events, media and blogs.


To keep up to date follow the NIHR ARC-GM Twitter account @ARC_GM_

Health inequalities and regional productivity

The health of those living in the north is worse than those living in the south, and this inequality is reflected in the comparative economic performance as well. The regional inequality in economic performance is prominent throughout the United Kingdom. In this blog, Dr Luke Munford (NIHR ARC-GM Deputy Lead for Economic Sustainability) and Professor Clare Bambra explore the links between health inequalities and economic inequalities across the UK.


They also consider the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on health and economic performance. Considering an array of variables, they suggest investing in place-based public health, a more holistic approach to improve outcomes in the labour market and promoting health and prevention services across care systems.


  • Health is an important pre-requisite for economic performance, and therefore, a stronger focus on health must be adopted in order to ‘Level Up’.
  • The north experiences lower levels of economic activity rates, implying higher rates of unemployment and economic inactivity.
  • Over the last 50 years, over 1.5 million northerners died earlier than if they had experienced the same lifetime health chances as those in the rest of England.
  • The central government can focus on mitigating health inequalities by investing in place-based public health, improving labour market participation and job retention, increasing NHS funding in the north, implanting an inclusive, green industrial strategy, and developing health promotion and prevention services.


The renewed effort to ‘Level Up’ England is essential, as there are deep-rooted and persistent regional inequalities. People living in the north of England typically perform less well than those living in the rest of England on many important metrics...


You can access the full blog from the Policy@Manchester site here.


Published 18th November 2022

Please complete the following form to download this item:

Once submitting your information you will be presented with a new 'Download' button to gain access to the resource.