About the Data Access portal About the Data Access portal

Minnesota Public Health Data Access (MN Data) portal is an online data resource designed to provide public access to MN data about environmental risk factors and health. Information may be presented as interactive charts and figures, maps, custom tables generated using a query tool, or County profiles across a range of environmental health indicators. In many cases, data are available to download.

MN Data information may be used to:

  • Help people and communities make healthy choices

  • Protect children, the environment, and future generations

  • Track and evaluate the effectiveness of public health actions and policy

    MN Data portal was created and is maintained by the MN Environmental Public Health Tracking Program at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The goal is to support MDH’s mission to protect, maintain and improve the health of all Minnesotans by providing timely, high-quality data to the public.

MN Data is used by anyone who wants to access data and learn more about health, the environment, and other risk factors. We find that MN Data is of particular interest to:

  • Public health and environmental professionals: to provide better access to data to help create more effective programs; inform assessments and planning

  • Health care professionals: to provide better care by knowing what public health issues most impact their communities

  • Researchers to help understand the relationship between public health and the environment
  • Policy makers to develop and evaluate policies and programs that protect health
  • Citizens to have a greater awareness of environmental and public health concerns in their communities, including health disparities

Tracking in Action: Minnesota  features case studies and stories that demonstrate how the MN Data portal has been used to inform public health practice, interventions and policy. If you have used data from the MN Data portal successfully, please share your story with us.

  • Children’s health data, birth defects, immunizations and lead exposure.
  • Environmental exposures and hazards, like air and drinking water quality or lyme disease.
  • Health behaviors and risk factors, like smoking, obesity and poverty.
  • Healthy home information, like carbon monoxide or second-hand smoke.

The MN Data portal is updated and maintained by the Minnesota Environmental Public Health Tracking Program at the Minnesota Department of Health through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network.

Data for this site is collected through collaboration with multiple MDH programs, and in partnership with the state agencies, including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Plans include updates to county and sub-county data, adding new years of data (where data are available) and additional interactive maps. New topic areas and measures are explored and added each year.

MDH uses a systematic evaluation process to determine which new data topics will be added or expanded. Certain topics on the MN Data portal are available on the CDC National Environmental Public Health Tracking portal, which enables comparisons of standardized environmental health indicators.

Detailed information is available for each topic area (see “About the Data” tab). These “About the Data” pages provide important information to accurately interpret and communicate information about:

  • Data sources
  • Data limitations
  • Potential data uses

For examples, go to: About the asthma data or About the carbon monoxide poisoning data.

MN Data portal is updated continually to include additional data and features. If you would like to request data not on the portal or have comments about how we can improve this site, please contact us.

Summary-level data is provided at the state and county level. Some Minnesota county data are not shown or are totaled to protect privacy. For example, query results for asthma hospitalizations in some Minnesota counties with small populations are not provided to protect the individual privacy of county residents.

Data suppression (data not shown) is explained in this Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC) podcast. MDH follows Minnesota statutes to protect data privacy, including the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

The following is an example of the preferred format for citations:

Minnesota Department of Health. (2014, July 8). Asthma Hospitalizations: Basic Facts & Figures. Accessed from MN Public Health Access Data portal https://apps.health.state.mn.us/mndata/asthma_hosp. Retrieved April 2016.

To learn more about the MN Data portal or provide comments, please contact us..