The latest evidence on socioeconomic status and stroke shows that stroke not only disproportionately affects low-income and middle-income countries, but also socioeconomically deprived populations within high-income countries. These disparities are reflected not only in risk of stroke but also in short-term and long-term outcomes after stroke. Increased average levels of conventional risk factors (eg, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle) in populations with low socioeconomic status account for about half of these effects. In many countries, evidence shows that people with lower socioeconomic status are less likely to receive good-quality acute hospital and rehabilitation care than people with higher socioeconomic status. For clinical practice, better implementation of well established treatments, effective management of risk factors, and equity of access to high-quality acute stroke care and rehabilitation will probably reduce inequality substantially. Overcoming barriers and adapting evidence-based interventions to different countries and health-care settings remains a research priority.