Since 1948, the average life expectancy has increased by a staggering 20 years on a global basis. However, the geographical differences are enormous, and in a number of countries the a average life expectancy has even decreased. The differences are also increasing within national boundaries: Well off parts of a country show an increasingly healthier population, while poorer regions show the opposite development. Why? What can be done In order to change the negative trend and close the health gap?