Health Equity Resources

Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the healthiest states in the nation. Yet health outcomes, and opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle, vary greatly depending on who you are and where you live.

Healthy Together Willmar believes that all people, regardless of race, income, zip code or other factors, should have opportunities to live the healthiest lives possible.




The Changing Face of Minnesota:
Home to 5.5 million people, Minnesota is undergoing major shifts.

  • People of color are expected to comprise one-quarter of our state’s population by 2035, up from 14% in 2005.
  • 48% of Ramsey County residents are projected to be nonwhite or Latino by 2035; 44% of Hennepin County residents are expected to be people of color.
  • The number of Minnesotans over age 65 is expected to almost double by 2030.

A State of Disparity
The challenges our state faces are as diverse as our rapidly changing demographics. Despite the efforts of government and public-interest groups, gaps in health equity have continued to grow.


Quick Facts: Race

  • The mortality rate for African American infants born in Minnesota is double that of white infants.
  • The mortality rate for Native Americans living in the Twin Cities is 3.5X that of other racial/ethnic groups; African Americans living in the same region have 2.9X the mortality rate of others.
  • 22% of Somali immigrants have been screened for colorectal cancer, compared to 40% of those born in Laos and 70% of white patients.
  • Only 25% of Native Americans are receiving optimal diabetes care, compared to 27% of African Americans and 41% of white patients.

Quick Facts: Income

  • 24.4% of Minnesota adults with an annual household income of $35,000 or less smoke; 8.7% of those with household incomes above $75,000 smoke
  • The difference in average life expectancy between those living in the Twin Cities’ highest income areas and those living in its lowest income areas is eight years.
  • The difference in life span between the highest and lowest income areas of St. Louis County, Minnesota is seven years.

Quick Facts: Geography

  • One third of Minnesota counties have fewer than eight physicians per 10,000 residents, especially in the most rural areas of the state.
  • 25 Minnesota counties have fewer than four dentists per 10,000 residents.
  • 55% of Greater Minnesota residents say their food choices are at least somewhat influenced by a lack of stores nearby that sell healthy food, compared to 46% of Twin Cities residents.

Download Willmar Fact Sheet

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