Crow Wing County Community Health Survey Results
Is Crow Wing County Really That Healthy?

Every three years, Crow Wing Energized conducts a survey of adults in Crow Wing County. The second of those surveys was distributed in the fall of 2017, with over 1,000 people responding.  Results were shared at the 5th Annual Crow Wing Energized Summit in February.

The survey was developed by Crow Wing Energized and the Minnesota Department of Health with the assistance of Essentia Health and Crow Wing County Community Services staff. It was mailed to 4,000 addresses in Crow Wing County. A total of 1,084 surveys came back for a 27.1% percent response rate, a statistically sound sampling which was adjusted to get a representative of the adult population of the county.

In comparison to the 2014 survey, results continue to show that almost 90% of the adults in Crow Wing County feel their health is good to excellent. But when they report their actual health conditions, what we find in reality is that 2/3 of the population is overweight or obese, and 25-40%  have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, mental health conditions, and arthritis. Results also indicated that 2/3 of all adults are not eating five or more fruits or vegetables a day, nor are they getting the recommended physical activity.

Other areas of concern included an increase in tobacco use, from 17.6% to 23.3% over the past 3 years. Less than half of cigarette smokers indicated they are trying to quit (reduced from ¾ of smokers who tried to quit in the previous survey).  The survey also found that 44% of people who make less than $20,000 are cigarette smokers. Tobacco users report higher rates of obesity, depression, and anxiety.

Respondents were also asked about Advance Care Directives. The survey found 25% of adults in Crow Wing County have an advanced care plan.  That increases when patients are 75 or older (50% have plans).  A noteworthy critical step is making sure advance care plans are in the hands of providers.  Unfortunately, only 60% of plans are given to the healthcare provider.

Change management research suggests that awareness is needed before action. The good news is Crow Wing Energized visibility increased from 4% three years ago to 24% of adults.

Crow Wing Energized will be studying the feedback and developing healthy strategies to overcome these obstacles. There are already a variety of initiatives underway, such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program, that with time should make a difference to our adult population in Crow Wing County.

If you would like to learn more about Crow Wing Energized, contact Cassie Carey at



More than 1 in 4 (28.2%) adults in Crow Wing country have been told by a health professional that they have a mental illness, an increase from 24.4% in the 2014 survey. Depression and anxiety are more common than diabetes.

Our lack of physical activity and healthy eating choices shows as we age:

  • 51% of Crow Wing County adults age 45 and over have high blood pressure
  • 42% of Crow wing county Adults age 45 and over have high cholesterol

17% of adults have worried about food running out in the past 12 months. This is an improvement over 2014 when 30% felt that concern.


Survey instrument: slightly modified from 2014 version, which was developed by Crow Wing Energized and MDH with assistance from Essentia Health and Crow Wing County Community Health.

Probability sample; two-stage sampling strategy used

Address-based sampling; “most recent birthday” method of within-household respondent selection

Mail survey: survey packets mailed to 4,000 Crow Wing County addresses

Two copies of scannable questionnaire sent with postcard reminder in between

1084 completed surveys received; 27% response rate

Data statistically weighted to account for sample design and differential response by gender and age