Keeping track of key health trends and policy developments is central to AYPH’s work.  In our latest update we took a new look at the health of young people in low income areas in England and Wales, drawing on data from surveys and audits in 2023.  The report was funded by StreetGames, the doorstep sport charity, who wanted to know about the particular health challenges their client groups might be facing.

On most measures, low income is related to poorer outcomes for the 10-24 age group.  Not only do young people living in low income areas have higher rates of some diseases, they also face an increased struggle to access services, which can exacerbate the situation.  Issues include higher rates of mortality, more disability and long-term illness, higher rates of obesity, and more mental health problems.   

10-24 year olds from the most deprived local authority areas in England are more likely to die than those in the least deprived areas

Infographic showing the mortality rate per 100,000 10-24 year olds, England 2020

Our assessment of the current policy context relating to young people in low income areas suggests a number of high level commitments, but much less going on with respect to concrete solutions and investment.   

Awareness of the health inequalities that young people experience is essential for voluntary sector organisations who want to help this age group. The VCSE sector is an absolutely critical part of the landscape and has a central role to play in reducing the barriers to access and improving outcomes.

Moving forward the report supports the need to put young people at the centre of the health service, with consideration given to more youth friendly services and listening to what young people want.

It is crucial that this work is supported by access to data for the 10-25 age group providing a solid evidence-base for policy and practice.

Author: Ann Hagell & Kirsty Blenkins

May 2024