• 07 Pages
  • Published On: 18-11-2023


Socio-economic class or social situation of people acts as an important parameter of how they live their life that impact on their health and wellbeing. The socio-economic condition of a person includes his or her income, occupation, education, living standard, housing environment and financial ability that have a potential impact on an individual's mental, physical and spiritual health. This essay is going to discuss how socio-economic class as well as the social situation of people living in the UK impact on their health and wellbeing. The essay will discuss the way socio-economic factors such as poverty, employment, financial situation, income level and access to money impact on the ability of people in the UK to have good health and mental as well as physical wellbeing. Here the essay will present an argumentative discussion on whether the people residing in higher socio-economic class have better health than their poor peers. Moreover, the essay will make a critical discussion on how socio-economic class allows people in the UK to live a better life and have all the facilities that are important to have positive health and wellbeing. Finally, the essay will present a summary of the entire discussion in the conclusion part.


As mentioned by Nicola et al. (2020), the socio-economic condition of people impacts on their life expectancy, access to healthcare facilities and vulnerability towards disease. In the UK, it is evident that poor residing in the lower socio-economic class are more likely to have ill health. Sa report from Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown that in the England and Wales unemployed people residing in the lower socio-economic class are twice more likely to suffer from chronic disease than the unemployed people residing in rich and higher social class. The reason behind this can be stated as the average family income, living standard education level, eating habits, housing and society environment ae far better in case of the unemployed people residing in high-class society as compared to the unemployed people residing in the lower socio-economic class (Moffatt et al. 2017). The ONS report stated that the study "Adult Health in Great Britain" conducting in 2012 have shown that more than 17% of the unemployed people with the poor socio-economic condition is highly prevalent to Long-standing Illness (LSI) as compared to only 9% of the employed people residing in the high social class [, 2019]. The study also has shown that unemployment in poor society leads to depression, mood swing, anxiety and aggressive behaviour in people. As mentioned by Cookson et al. (2016), people from lower social-economic class who are unemployed are addicted to drugs, smoking, alcohol consumption that enhances their prevalence towards non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), pulmonary disease and lung infection. On the contrary here are many studies that argued that is not necessary that people residing in the lower socio-economic class are more likely to have a chronic illness, rather there are many cases in which people from the higher social class are affected by Cardio-vascular disease and coronary arterial disease. As mentioned by Lindner et al. (2018), in the UK people who have highly lavish lifestyles are often unable to maintain the regular and well-organised lifestyle that impact on their health and wellbeing. In this context, ONS report has shown that in the UK, 1 in 4 adults are obese and more than 62% are overweight among which many individuals belong to rich and high-class society [, 2019]. The evidence-based report suggested that not only the people with the poor socio-economic condition but also the people who have the strong socio-economic condition are also vulnerable to ill health due to their excessive consumption of fat-enriched foods, lack of exercise and irregular lifestyles.

Despite there are many exceptional cases in which people from rich social class have ill health, in recent years the UK is reported to have a high rate of health inequalities in which people residing in deprived communities in England and Wales are more likely to have higher mortality and morbidity as compared to their richer peers (Cai et al. 2017). The recent report from ONS has shown that 55 deaths have been reported in every 1000,000 people in the deprived communities in England as compared to the only 25 deaths in the wealthiest communities due to COVID-19 attack (, 2019). Pieces of evidence mentioned that people residing in the lower socio-economic class have poor mental and physical health due to their inability to have good foods, good living standard, healthy housing and society environment and regular as well as systemic lifestyles. As compared to the people with the poor social condition, people residing in the rich society in the UK who have good jobs and standard family income can easily avail the healthy as well as nutritious foods, gyms facilities, well-maintained lifestyles and positive social environment that enhance their life expectancy. In this context Øversveen et al. (2017) mentioned that people residing deprived society cannot afford the healthy and nutritious foods, rather they have to depend on cheap and low-quality foods that are enriched with unsaturated fats. Additionally, people with low-income level and ack on proper employment are obliged to compromise with their basic needs such as they usually skip meals as they cannot afford three-time meals for all members of their family. As stated by Lu et al. (2017), poor people are more likely to suffer from mental illness such as depression, anxiety, hallucination, poor decision making and cognition and lack of problem-solving skill. Evidence-based studies have mentioned that people belonging to the lower socio-economic class are devoid of proper education, health literacy and social support that make them unaware to what are the healthy habits as well as systematic lifestyle and how these can be implemented into their regular life to get positive health and wellbeing. Report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has mentioned that people residing in the rural and interior areas of England and Wales are devoid of receiving proper health education and health literacy program conducted by the government. Additionally, people residing in poor villages in the UK, are unaware of the health care facilities and schemes that are developed by the UK government to promote positive health and wellbeing of the citizen.

ONS has mentioned in its report that people residing in the lowest socio-economic class receive poor quality of NHS care and worse health outcomes. The report stated that people from the deprived community of England and Wales receive low-quality primary care, ill-treatment from GPs and unprofessional behaviour from NHS professionals. As mentioned by Ruiz-Pérez et al. (2017), people belonging to poor socio-economic class receive poor quality treatment and care facilities in the local NHS hospitals which is not useful in improving their physical and mental health. The WHO report has shown that in England the number of emergency admission in NHS hospitals in case of deprived people is 396 per 1000,000 people as compared to 134 in case of people belonging to higher socio-economic class (, 2019). Evidence base report mentioned, people from lower-class society face huge difficulties in making GP appointments or consulting with Health Service Executives (HSE) due to which the rate of mortality and morbidity is higher in the deprived community as compared to the high-class society. On the contrary Saif-Ur-Rahman et al. (2018) argued that not only the poor people but also the people residing in the rich society also face difficulties in having well-organised and high-quality treatment in NHS hospitals due to lack of modern medical equipment, poor clinical infrastructure and lack of financial resources in these hospitals that make it difficult for NHS professionals to provide compassionate care to patients.

As mentioned by Fret et al. (2017), socio-economic class impact on the quality of living, lifestyle and family culture of people that have a direct impact on their overall mental and physical health. People belonging to the lower socio-economic class in the UK are habituated to irregular lifestyle and poor living standard such as insufficient sleep, irregular sleeping pattern, skipping of meals, intake of low-quality meals, excessive hard work, lack of proper exercise and lack of healthy habit and practices. Additionally, in lower-class society, there is lack of education and health literacy, that make the people residing in lower socio-economic societies have negative thoughts, aggressive behaviour, superstitious culture and backdated as well as the conservative perception that poses potential barriers on having healthy body and mind.

In terms of promoting positive health and wellbeing in people residing in the low socio-economic class, NHS organisation can play effective roles by improving the healthcare facilities to these deprived communities in the UK. Additionally, the UK government needs to conduct proper health literacy program and health education training in rural and interior area in terms of providing support to people residing in deprived community to develop a healthy habit and have the good living standard (Nicola et al. 2020). Additionally, it is also important to conduct skill development program for people with the lower socio-economic condition in terms of improving their professional skill to enable them to get good job opportunities. Governmental initiatives can improve the overall healthcare infrastructure in NHS hospitals for poor people which would enable them to access the healthcare facilities easily without facing any issues.

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From the above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that the socio-economic condition of people plays important roles in determining health and wellbeing. The socio-economic condition consists of different factors such as income education, housing, family environment, employment, lifestyle and living standard. People residing in poor socio-economic class in the UK are more likely to suffer from chronic disease as compared to people belonging to rich socio-economic class. The reason behind this is that people with the good socio-economic position in the society are able to access nutritious and healthy foods, gym, better healthcare facilities, good quality of living and systematic lifestyles as compared to people belonging to deprived society. Poor people have less money which makes them unable to avail the healthy foods, good education and good lifestyle. Therefore, poor people are more vulnerable to poor mental and physical health as compared to their richer peers In this context government needs to take effective initiatives to improve the living standard and income level of poor people in terms of promoting their positive health and wellbeing.

Looking for further insights on Social Inequalities, Health Determinants, and Government Initiatives? Click here.

Reference list:

Cai, J., Coyte, P.C. and Zhao, H., 2017. Determinants of and socio-economic disparities in self-rated health in China. International Journal for Equity in Health, 16(1), p.7.

Cookson, R., Propper, C., Asaria, M. and Raine, R., 2016. Socio‐economic inequalities in health care in England. Fiscal Studies, 37(3-4), pp.371-403.

Fret, B., Lambotte, D., Van Regenmortel, S., Dury, S., De Witte, N., Dierckx, E., De Donder, L. and Verté, D., 2017. Socio-demographic, socio-economic and health need differences between types of care use in community-dwelling older adults. International Journal of Care and Caring, 1(3), pp.351-366.

Lindner, L.M.E., Rathmann, W. and Rosenbauer, J., 2018. Inequalities in glycaemic control, hypoglycaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis according to socio‐economic status and area‐level deprivation in Type 1 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. Diabetic Medicine, 35(1), pp.12-32.

Lu, L., Zeng, J. and Zeng, Z., 2017. What limits the utilization of health services among China labor force? Analysis of inequalities in demographic, socio-economic and health status. International journal for equity in health, 16(1), p.30.

Moffatt, S., Steer, M., Lawson, S., Penn, L. and O’Brien, N., 2017. Link Worker social prescribing to improve health and well-being for people with long-term conditions: qualitative study of service user perceptions. BMJ open, 7(7), p.e015203.

Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir, A., Iosifidis, C., Agha, M. and Agha, R., 2020. The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review. International journal of surgery (London, England), 78, p.185.

Øversveen, E., Rydland, H.T., Bambra, C. and Eikemo, T.A., 2017. Rethinking the relationship between socio-economic status and health: Making the case for sociological theory in health inequality research. Scandinavian journal of public health, 45(2), pp.103-112.

Präg, P., 2020. Subjective socio-economic status predicts self-rated health irrespective of objective family socio-economic background. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, p.1403494820926053.

Ruiz-Pérez, I., Bermúdez-Tamayo, C. and Rodríguez-Barranco, M., 2017. Socio-economic factors linked with mental health during the recession: a multilevel analysis. International journal for equity in health, 16(1), p.45.

Saif-Ur-Rahman, K.M., Anwar, I., Hasan, M., Hossain, S., Shafique, S., Haseen, F., Khalequzzaman, M., Rahman, A. and Islam, S., 2018. Use of indices to measure socio-economic status (SES) in South-Asian urban health studies: a scoping review. Systematic reviews, 7(1), p.196., (2019), Health inequalities in the England: Available in <:> [Accessed on 2019]

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