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Know Your Community - Health Status Data

Learn the demographic, socioeconomic, and health status characteristics of the Minnesota counties and cities you serve.

Demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status can influence a person's health behaviors, affect access to health care, and indicate an increased likelihood of certain health conditions. Several data sources are available that can assist health care organizations in learning more about the characteristics of the communities they serve so they can develop the culturally sensitive services and processes necessary to support delivery of equitable and effective health care.

DemographicsSocio-Economic StatusHealth Status Data

Health Status Data

The health status data concerning birth rates and factors contributing to the incidence of disease revealed the following:

  • A need for increased efforts to provide prenatal care in the general population as well as an awareness of birth trends in populations of color.
  • Greater potential for engagement in behaviors which increase the burden of poor health in populations of color.

Birth Rate

Between 2007 and 2009, birth rates in Minnesota fell. The pattern of decline suggests a relationship to the recession. The decrease in births was concentrated among groups most vulnerable to unemployment and financial uncertainty: the young and less educated. However, the number of births decreased in all racial/ethnic groups.

The largest decreases from 2007 to 2009 were among Latina/Hispanic mothers (5.2%) and white mothers (5.0%). Births to mothers under age 20 (which involve more complications during pregnancy and childbirth, more infant deaths, low birth weights and congenital anomalies) decreased in both 2008 and 2009, when they dropped by 10.6%.

Older couple holding hands on a walkMorbidity

Behavioral risk factors such as use of alcohol and tobacco, diet, exercise, and preventive health practices play an important role in determining a person’s overall health status. Control over such factors can decrease a person’s risk for adverse health outcomes including illness and premature death.

Health status data sources

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The nation's premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

County Health Rankings. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute release an annual report on the place-based factors influencing health outcomes. 

Tobacco and Nicotine Use in Minnesota: Briefs, Reports, and Statistics (NUMBRS). Information about youth and adult tobacco use and trends in Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Health

What providers need to know

Patients from diverse cultures may have varying perceptions of the concepts of disease and preventive care. Patients may not understand the reason for their illness or the importance of keeping follow-up appointments and adhering to treatment plans even though they may no longer be feeling symptoms. Follow-up visits are important in identifying changes in health due to treatment and to avoid potential disease recurrence.


Provide alternative treatment options and acknowledge that patients from diverse cultures may use traditional cultural approaches to health care.

Next Steps

  • Conduct a CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Standards Assessment to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunities for improvement in the services your organization offers to diverse populations. An online assessment which offers customized evaluation and recommendations, can be found at: CLAS Standards Assessment
  • Find actionable tools in support of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services on this Culture Care Connection website.
  • Contact Stratis Health to learn more about how we can assist in your organization's efforts to enhance culturally competent care.

DemographicsSocio-Economic StatusHealth Status Data