From the foreword

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe

Broad international cooperation is required to efficiently and sustainably address the health information challenges facing the Region. Harmonization, cooperation and the sharing of knowledge, experiences and good practices are essential. I therefore hope that this book will inspire Member States and other stakeholders to join the European Health Information Initiative, a collaboration between the WHO Regional Office for Europe, European institutions and Member States to improve the information that underpins policy. Only by joining forces can the health information research and development agenda in our Region move forward in a productive and meaningful way.

Health 2020 targets

The 53 Member States in the WHO European Region adopted Health 2020 in 2012 as the new European health policy framework. It supports action across government and society to improve the health and well-being of populations, reduce health inequities, strengthen public health and ensure people-centred health systems that are universal, equitable, sustainable and of high quality.

In 2013, Member States approved a framework with targets and indicators to monitor the implementation and impact of Health 2020, and agreed that 2010 would be the baseline for evaluating progress towards achieving its six targets.

  • Reduce premature mortality in Europe.
  • Increase life expectancy in Europe.
  • Reduce inequities in health in Europe.
  • Enhance the well-being of the European population.
  • Move towards universal health coverage.
  • Establish national targets set by Member States.


  • Much more can be done to reduce major risk factors

    Although the European Region is on track to achieve the Health 2020 target to reduce premature mortality, much more can be done to reduce major risk factors.

  • Large inequities in health exist between countries

    The gaps between the highest and lowest values reported in the Region for the Health 2020 indicators linked to social determinants of health – infant mortality, life expectancy, primary school enrolment and unemployment – have shrunk, but the absolute differences between countries remain large.

  • Monitoring of well-being needs improvement

    Data on subjective well-being in European countries are available, but more work is needed on measuring well-being and its cultural contexts, to improve monitoring.

  • Broader monitoring is needed

    Health 2020 implementation is gaining momentum, but broader monitoring is needed to capture its true impact, including concepts such as community resilience, empowerment and sense of belonging.

  • International cooperation is needed in health evidence

    International cooperation is the key to advancing the agenda for research and development for health information, and working to secure health information and evidence for the 21st century.

Introduction video

The European health statistics app

How long is our average life span? What do we die of? What percentage of our population is protected by vaccination? How much alcohol do our neighbours across the nearest border drink?

With this handy smartphone application, wherever you go and wherever you are, you have access to the latest data on health in the WHO European Region. Ideal for policy-makers and anyone who works in public health, the app provides the data underlying the European health report 2015.

The data in the app can be used to understand the health situation in the European Region and progress towards the targets of the Health 2020 policy. The app brings together data managed by WHO and by other recognized sources, such as UNESCO and UNDP.

Install now to receive the annual data updates and new features as they become available!

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The European health statistics app