Measuring progress. Inspiring action.

About the project

Get facts that matter: Information to shape Minnesota's future

Minnesota Compass is a social indicators project that measures progress in our state and its communities. Led by Wilder Research, Minnesota Compass provides nonpartisan, credible information and tracks trends in topic areas such as education, economy, workforce, health, housing, and a host of others.

Data and analysis on gives everyone in our state – policymakers, business and community leaders, and concerned individuals who live and work here – a common foundation to identify, understand, and act on issues that affect our communities.

Compass does this by:

  • Providing unbiased, credible information.
  • Tracking trends and measuring progress on issues that impact our quality of life.
  • Identifying disparities by race, age, gender, and income as data are available.
  • Providing additional resources for addressing issues.


Minnesota Compass was developed when leaders from around the state voiced a desire to have credible, easy-to-access data about what was happening in their communities across Minnesota. As a result, Wilder Research worked with advisors representing business, government, nonprofit, and philanthropy to develop and implement Minnesota Compass as a statewide resource for reliable data.

See our current sponsors.


Compass gives measurable information that shows trends over time on select areas related to quality of life across the state and in our local communities. The information is provided is in the following ways:

Topics: See how Minnesota is doing across a wide variety of topic areas, such as housing, economy, education, disparities and more.

Geography: Get in-depth data profiles or build your own data profile for Minnesota communities by geographic area.

Insights: Read brief articles with trends, interpretation, and analysis from the Compass team.

Key Measures: Indicators identified by topic advisory groups as the most credible and compelling based on criteria developed by a technical committee that help judge how Minnesota is doing in a given area. 

More Measures: Links to additional data sets and data-rich sites to gain a more in-depth understanding of the issue.

Learn more about the data.


Data and Analysis: Minnesota Compass researchers can work with you and your organization to compile, analyze, and interpret data as you plan for the future, set policy, and ensure effective use of resources for generations to come.

Training and Workshops: Did you know that Minnesota Compass staff provide training and workshops tailored to your needs? We'll help your organization use credible data to measure and increase impact.

Contact Minnesota Compass Project Director Allison Liuzzi at or Minnesota Compass Research Scientist Ellen Wolter at for details and rates.


Contact us with questions or feedback about Minnesota Compass, the data, or how we can improve our web site.


In the media

See how Compass is informing the news


Compass Points 2020

MN Compass’s annual report and quality of life indicators check-up