Head and neck cancers (HNC) have a poor prognosis and a long treatment delay may have a negative impact on this. Some studies have investigated the determinants of this delay but not in the general population and rarely taking into account socio-economic factors. A high-resolution population-based study about cancer management was conducted, using registries in the north-west of France, on HNC diagnosed between 2008 and 2010. The median time between diagnosis and multidisciplinary team meeting (DMI) (N = 1631) was 14 days (Q1: 7 to Q3: 26). The median time between diagnosis and first treatment (DTI) (N = 1519) was 35 days (Q1: 21 to Q3: 54). When the first treatment was radiotherapy, the interval was 54.5 days (Q1: 40 to Q3: 71). In multivariate analysis, DTI was associated with the type of first treatment and place of treatment. For advanced stage HNC, DTI was associated with comorbidities, topography of the cancer and socio-economic status, underprivileged patients being treated later than privileged ones. Given the French governmental cancer plans which set out to coordinate care pathways via nursing coordinators and to improve the availability of radiotherapy, the waiting times observed in this study still seem long. The optimal care pathway should include adapted social management but the DTI was still longer for underprivileged patients.