Social Determinants of Health

Advancing a Culture of Health in Cities: Understanding the Factors the Influence Health Where We Live, Learn, Work & Play

The social, economic and environmental conditions in which children and families live, learn, work and play – the social determinants of health – impact how long and how well we live.

Understanding Social Determinants of Health
The quality of the environments within a community have a major impact on the ability of children and families to make choices that support healthy growth and development. When children and families have access to social, economic and physical resources that promote health and well-being (e.g. safe and affordable housing, quality education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, and safe play spaces), children have more opportunities to thrive. On the contrary, children growing up in communities that lack these positive environmental conditions often suffer poorer health outcomes than their peers.

Mayors and city leaders play a pivotal role in the overall health and well-being of the cities and towns they serve. By improving the social, economic, and physical conditions across various environments and settings, city leaders can improve the health and quality of life of residents in their communities.

Learn More About How You & Your City Can Get Involved:
NLC is leading an effort to educate, train and build the capacity of city leaders to address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes where individuals live, learn, work and play. Learn how you community can get involved (

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