Vicenç Navarro was born in Barcelona, Spain. He graduated in Medicine at the University of Barcelona. He had to leave Spain for political reasons due to his active participation in the Spanish anti-fascist underground. He studied political economy at the International Institute of Economic Studies, Social Policy in the London School of Economics, and Health Administration at Edinburgh University and Public Policy, and Policy Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He is also the director of the Observatorio Social de España.
In Spain, he has been an Extraordinary Professor of Economics in the Compentense University in Madrid, a Professor of Economics at the Barcelona University and a Professor of Political and Social Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University, where he directs the Public Policy Program jointly sponsored by the Pompeu Fabra University and the Johns Hopkins University.
He is Professor of Health and Social Policy at the Johns Hopkins University.