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Know Your Community - Socio-Economic Status

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

Socio-Economic Status

Education

Across Minnesota, high school graduation rates increased between 2012 and 2016, from 77.9% to 82.2%, respectively. High school graduation rates for populations of color are lower than the state rate, but also have increased between 2012 and 2016, from 60.1% to 68%, respectively.

Income

Income level influences an individual’s access to health insurance and health care, and is used to determine poverty status, which may determine eligibility for various assistance programs. Rates of uninsured can be difficult to measure. Wide variability exists across racial and ethnic groups. Historically, white populations are the most likely to be insured and Hispanic/Latino populations are the least likely to be insured.

Nurses discharging patientEmployment

Employment or lack of employment influences a variety of social and health risks, such as access to health care insurance, or psychological needs. For example, employed individuals in office-based occupations are at risk for repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders due to the sedentary nature of this work. Individuals who are unemployed or experience job insecurity may face health risks such as increased blood pressure and stress.

Socio-economic data sources

Community Profiles for Twin Cities Area. Information and trends about the Twin Cities region or any city, county or township. Includes charts and data on population, employment, income and poverty, housing, commuting, land use, and development. Metropolitan Council

Minnesota Immigrant Population 2000-2015. Statewide data on various immigrant populations, includes population size; age; gender; length of time in the U.S.; as well as status of English speaking, poverty, workforce participation, and education attainment, among other data points. Minnesota Compass

What providers need to know

Chronic stress associated with lower socioeconomic status can contribute to morbidity and mortality and is linked to a wide range of health problems, including arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and low birthweight.

Suggestions

Consider how a patient's socioeconomic status (education, income, occupation) may affect health risks and ability to follow treatment plans. Become familiar with eligibility requirements and service offerings from local health, housing, and social service programs, including medical assistance, food support, and cash assistance. Dial 211 United Way First Call for Help to get information and referrals about employment, health services, etc. Establish a culturally sensitive plan for identifying and referring patients who may benefit.

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