Healthy Communities Count!
The community in which a person lives can make a difference in how easy it is to finish high school and get higher education. Studies show that gender, race/ethnicity, school location, neighborhood features, and participation in a school lunch program are linked to a student’s attendance at school. People with more education can also make a difference in their communities. Being able to read, write, and do math are essential skills needed to find a job, get good housing, and make healthy choices.
Education and Health
Education is the strongest social factor (employment and income are others) that can influence a person or a community’s health. While we usually think of a disease, injury, or chemical causing a health problem, the amount of education a person has can indirectly affect their health. A person with more education will be more likely to choose healthy behaviors and lifestyles, get a job with health benefits, and able to find information and resources when faced with a health problem. People who cannot read are two times as likely to be hospitalized as people who can read. People who struggle with reading are less likely to be able to understand directions for taking medicine. They may also have a hard time understanding steps they can take to prevent future health problems.
What the Map Shows
The map shows the average years of education of residents in the Central Corridor. To “count” education, MDH calculated the average number of years of education for a specific area (Census block group). The average for a specific area was based on the number of years of formal education for all people over age 25 divided by the total number of people over age 25.
In 2000, the Twin Cities average years of education was 13.5 years. The average level of education in the Central Corridor Study Area was 12.5 years. The map shows that 35% of the Central Corridor area has average education levels above the Twin Cities, and 65% of the Central Corridor area has average education levels below the Twin Cities. (Click on the map for a larger image.)
In this analysis, education level among adults was determined from attendance in traditional academic settings, such as high schools and colleges. Not included were individuals who enrolled in or completed other types of adult education, such as trade or vocational schools, community education courses, apprenticeships, or specialty schools. The education data provided by the U.S. Census may not accurately reflect the local workforce.
This count differs from current local high school graduation rates because adult residents may not have attended school in the Central Corridor Study Area and because many adults surveyed in the Census finished school decades ago.
Printable information sheet, with map: Education (PDF: 264KB/2 pages)
Click on the map below for a larger image