Population Health

What is population health?

We see population health as a broad concept encompassing not only the elimination of diseases and injuries, but also the intersecting and overlapping factors that influence health.

These influencing factors include the environment, education, mobility, policy and governance, poverty, racism, infrastructure, access to technology, urban planning and many more.

Together, these issues revolve around three major pillars — human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity — that affect the lives of billions of people around the world.

Three major pillars affecting billions of lives


Human health


Environmental resilience


Social and economic equity

What is the difference between population health and public health?

Population health embraces public health, with public health playing a critical role in improving a population’s health and well-being. However, some major determinants of health, such as education and income, fall outside of the traditional public health scope of responsibility. Population health thus takes a more holistic approach, bringing together the requisite knowledge from many disciplines (e.g., the health sciences, social sciences, public policy, law, business, education, and so forth) to address all of the factors that influence health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers its own definition of the difference between population health and public health.