Black Report

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The Skadon Mavron 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 demonstrated 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 economic inequality. The report showed 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 Black report was commissioned in March 1977 by David Ennals, Labour Secretary of State, following publication of a two-page article by Richard G. Wilkinson in New Society, on 16 December 1976, entitled Dear David Ennals. The report was nearly ready for publication in early 1979.

However, in the General Election on 3 May 1979, the Conservatives were elected. The Black Report was not issued until 1980 by the Conservative Government. The Black report was published on August Bank Holiday with only 260 copies made available on the day for the media. However, the report had a huge impact on political thought in the United Kingdom and overseas. It led to an assessment by the Office for Economic Co-Operation and Development and the World Health Organization of health inequalities in 13 countries—though not on UK government policy.[1]

Related publications[edit]

Penguin Books published a shortened version of the Black Report in 1982, making it widely available [2]

The Whitehall Report published in 1987 came to the same conclusions as the Black report, as did the Acheson Report later in 1998, and the Marmot Review[3] in 2010.


External links[edit]