The Black report was a 1980 document published by the Department of Health and Social Security (now the Department of Health) in the United Kingdom, which was the report of the expert committee into health inequality chaired by Sir Douglas Black. It was fundamental in demonstrating that although overall health had improved since the introduction of the welfare state, there were widespread health inequalities. It also found that the main cause of these inequalities was poverty, and that to attack these inequalities, the gap between upper class and lower class peoples must be narrowed.
The Black report was commissioned in March 1977 by David Ennals, Labour Secretary of State, following publication of a two-page article by Richard Wilkinson in New Society, on 16 December 1976, entitled 'Dear David Ennals'. However it was not published until 1980 by the Conservative Government. The Black report was published on August Bank Holiday with only 260 very cheaply produced copies printed. The report stated that the death rate for men in social class V was twice that for men in social class I and that gap between the two was increasing not reducing as was expected. The Whitehead Report published in 1987 came to the same conclusions as the Black report, as did the Acheson report later in 1998.
- Text of the report
- Article at bmjjournals.com
- Obit at the Guardian
- Account of the production of the report
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