Table 3

Estimates of the welfare impact of socioeconomic inequalities in health, EU-25 member states, 2004

Total value*Impact of health inequalities
In billion €As % of GDPAs proportion (%) of each itemIn billion €As % of GDP
GDP of EU-25, 200410451100.0%
Health as a capital good: GDP income components
 Wages and salaries407139.0%2.81131.08%
 Firm profits, mixed income, etc402138.5%0.7280.27%
 Total income809277.4%1.71411.35%
Health as a consumption good§
 Total healthNANANA9809.4%
Healthcare costs
 Physician services1571.5%16.4260.25%
 Hospital services2672.6%22.1590.56%
 Total health services8888.5%20.01771.70%
Social security benefits
 Unemployment benefits1781.7%2.750.05%
 Disability benefits2222.1%24.7550.53%
 Total benefits4013.8%14.7600.57%
  • * Source: Eurostat website or OECD website (healthcare costs).

  • The impact of health inequalities was estimated on the basis of the estimates of inequality related losses to health as presented in table 1. The % estimates in column 3 were multiplied with column 1 to obtain an estimate of the absolute amounts in column 4.

  • In 2004, the average gross monthly income from wages and salary earnings in EU-25 was estimated to be €726 per person. Under the ‘levelling up’ scenario, this average increases by 2.77% to €746 per person. When only the impact of the ‘levelling up’ scenario on gross earnings of employees is counted, the impact on total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be 39% times 2.77% or 1.1% of GDP. Through firm profits and income of self-employed persons, a ‘levelling up’ scenario will increase the second GDP component by (gross operating surplus and mixed income, accounting for 38% of GDP) by 0.7%, which translates into 0.3% of GDP.

  • § See main text.