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​​  diverse hands

Health disparities are the differences in health status among distinct segments of the population, including differences that occur by gender, age, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, education or income, disability or functional impairment, or geographic location, or the combination of any of these factors. 

Disparities in health, or the factors that shape health attainment or success, that are systemic and avoidable and, therefore, considered unjust or unfair are health inequities.

California’s population is the most diverse in the continental United Statesand one of the most diverse in the entire world.However, the great advantages of California’s demographic diversity continue to be undermined by persistent, unjustifiable inequities in various social, economic, and environmental conditions that result in gaping disparities in the health of vulnerable populations, especially low-income (below 200 percent of the federal poverty level) families and neighborhoods; communities of color; the very young and the very old; and those who have experienced discriminatory practices based on gender, race/ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

From this page, we invite you to pursue some of the most pressing questions regarding health disparities and inequities:

 Who is impacted by disparities?
 What role do the social determinants of health play?​
 How are health disparities measured?
 Are there resources available to address disparities?
 Are there communication tools to help others understand?
 What are the latest research developments?
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