Country profile

The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in central Europe. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state and the largest economy in the European Union. It has the world’s fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. The country has developed a very high standard of living and a comprehensive system of social security.

At present the population is covered by a basic health insurance plan provided by statute. According to the World Health Organization, Germany’s health care system was 77% government-funded and 23% privately funded. Germany ranked 20th in the world in life expectancy with 77 years for men and 82 years for women, and it had a very low infant mortality rate.


Policy responses

The issue of health inequalities has been high on the political agenda in Germany for over a decade. Whilst there is no specific action plan in place, the issue has been mainstreamed into various policy responses since 2000 and increasingly inter-sectoral collaboration has become important. Health care legislation and the health insurance system are a national competency, whilst health promotion and public health actions aimed at tackling health inequalities take place on the regional level. Action has been taken on the national level and there is currently legislation being discussed in the Parliament based on the new structural developments in Germany in the field of prevention and health promotion.

An overview of policy responses addressing health inequalities in can be found in our Policy Database.


Good practices

An overview of projects and initiatives that are currently taking place or that have successfully been finalized, and that are addressing health inequality issues, can be found in our Project Database.

Key actors

Please find below an overview of key actors in Germany working on health inequality issues:

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Key resources

Please find below an overview of relevant documents addressing health inequality issues in Germany. Further publications can be found in our Publications Database.

Are you aware of any other key resources that should be added to this list?
Please let us know!

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