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Twin cities neighborhoods at risk

In early April, Minnesota Compass staff partnered with WCCO TV news to map areas of the Twin Cities at highest risk of severe COVID-19. We constructed these maps based on the prevalence of seven underlying health conditions in Minneapolis and St. Paul: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, and stroke. Understanding the distribution of underlying health risk factors can help us identify which areas could benefit from targeted efforts at mitigation and where greater need for health care may emerge. Our findings give an idea of where targeted outreach, education, and community health efforts may be most critical. Get more on the story.

How to use the maps:

  • Click on the legend in the upper right corner of the map to see what the colors mean.
  • Click on the arrows on the bottom left and right to see each risk factor map.


Our analysis draws on data from the 500 Cities Project from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Community Survey 5-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Data were assembled at the census tract level, the smallest level of geography for which reliable estimates are available. Given that our two cities neighbor one another, all census tracts in Minneapolis and St. Paul were analyzed together.

Data were assembled for seven underlying health conditions identified by the CDC as risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, and stroke.

Census tracts were ranked by prevalence of each underlying risk factor. Census tracts that fell within the top 20% of tracts with highest prevalence of underlying conditions are considered high prevalence on that condition. Census tracts that have a high prevalence of 1-2 underlying conditions are mapped in yellow. Census tracts with a high prevalence of 3-7 underlying conditions are mapped in red and are considered highest risk in this analysis.

Our maps replicate an analysis conducted by the Institute for Health Policy at the University of Texas for several cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.


Featured resource

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SafeDistance is a free, non-profit app and website that crowdsources symptom data to help detect, predict, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, while assuring your privacy.