Goal: All people living in Minnesota will have optimum physical and mental health.

The saying "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything" holds true for our state and its regions as well. Quality of life in Minnesota is intrinsically tied to the health of its inhabitants. Individually, robust health makes people feel good physically and mentally, bolsters an optimistic outlook and extends life expectancy. Collectively, we all benefit when our citizens are strong and healthy.

What's happening

  • Standing at eight percent in 2014, the percentage of adult Minnesotans with diabetes has held steady since at least 2011 and is a bit lower than the national rate of 10 percent. When compared to other states, Minnesota has a relatively low percentage; the state ranks 6th-lowest for diabetes diagnoses.
  • The increase in the obesity rate has become a national public health issue. More than 1 in 4 adults in our state was obese in 2014. The rate for adults across the nation is slightly higher--nearly 1 in 3--but there are signs Minnesota's rate may be nearing the national level.
  • Minnesota ranked fourth best among all states in the percentage of residents under 65 who had health care coverage in 2015 (5%).
  • The number of residents without insurance fell dramatically in 2014 and 2015. About 243,000 residents – including 39,000 children – still do not have health insurance. These amounts are down from 436,000 and 72,000 in 2013, respectively.
  • The rate of psychiatric hospital admissions per 1,000 residents was 7.7 in 2013, representing about 35,000 people.

Making connections

A strong economy depends on the good health of its citizens. Healthy people may be better able to work and secure higher levels of education, which contributes to personal wealth and regional prosperity. Businesses retain a vital and productive workforce, which attracts new economic growth to the region. Health care costs, and their burden to society, are reduced.

Featured trend

People without health insurance
health trend

Fewer people lack health insurance

Minnesota and the U.S. as a whole saw a substantial drop in the number and proportion of residents without health insurance between 2013 and 2015. In Minnesota, 242,798 (5.2%) residents under age 65 lacked health insurance in 2015, down from 436,000 (9.3%) in 2013. Nationally, the rate dropped nearly 6 percentage points.

See more health trends


Paul Mattessich

What's the most effective way to get action started to improve community health? Start a fire. Paul Mattessich, executive director of Wilder Research and Compass project director explains.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
Led by Wilder Research

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