The role of population change in widening the mortality gap in Scotland
The social gradient in health and mortality has been acknowledged for some time and, more recently, there is some evidence that the gap between the richer and poorer is widening in Britain. Other studies have also shown that health and mortality outcomes are worse in places that are experiencing population decline and better in places that are growing. This analysis examines, first, whether there is a mortality gap between the least and most deprived people in Scotland, second, whether this gap has widened since the 1980s and, third, whether the gap can be explained by patterns of population change. Our results demonstrate that the widening mortality gap in Scotland cannot be explained simply as an artefact of population change, even though it is widening most in those places that are experiencing population decline. This type of research is made possible by the reliable denominator population information provided in the 1981 and 2001 censuses.
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