Quality Education
Chisago County, MN

The level of educational attainment is increasingly being recognized as an important social determinant of health

While higher educational attainment can play a significant role in shaping employment opportunities, it can also increase the capacity for better decision making regarding one’s health, and provide scope for increasing social and personal resources that are vital for physical and mental health.

Education is defined as a person’s education level or achievement or years of education. It is often used in conjunction with income and occupation to determine socio-economic status. Higher levels of education have been correlated with lower rates of chronic disease, healthier lifestyle decisions, and a greater sense of control over one’s life (1).

Education is the single most important modifiable social determinant of health.

Graduation Rate

For Chisago Lakes and North Branch, 2018 shows the highest graduation rate in the past 5 years. In Rush City, the chart shows a steady decrease in the high school graduation rate since 2016.

Consistent Attendance

This is a measure of students who attend school on a regular basis and are not frequently absent. A student is considered consistently attending if they attend more than 90 percent of the time the student enrolled during the year. 

Perception That Teachers Care About Students

This chart shows a strong number of students that feel they have teachers at school who care about them. 

School Subject Standards

Math Standards

In Chisago Lakes and North Branch, the percent of students meeting math standards have slightly decreased over the past two years. In Rush City, the percent has slightly increased.

Science Standards

In Chisago Lakes and North Branch, the percent of students meeting science standards has fallen over the past two years. In Rush City, the percent fell between 2017 and 2018 but remained stable in 2019. 

Reading Standards

The percent of students meeting reading standards remained relatively stable in all three locations from 2017 to 2019. In North Branch, the percent fell over two years. In Chisago Lakes and Rush City, the percent fluctuated slightly. 

When thinking of healthy lifestyles and setting on a path to good health, education isn’t typically thought of as being part of the formula. However, even when other factors, such as income, are considered and accounted for, there is strong evidence that links education with health. In fact, evidence shows that highly-educated adults live longer and healthier lives than those with less education — and their children may stand to benefit as well (1).

Income and education are the two big ones that correlate most strongly with life expectancy and most health status measures.

Schools and Links

Chisago Lakes

North Branch Area Public Schools 

Rush City Public Schools 

Why are more educated individuals usually healthier? The answer is complex, but generally, those with more education are more likely to engage in behaviors that promote good health, such as exercising regularly, not smoking or using tobacco and visiting a doctor on a regular basis for health screenings and check-ups (3). Higher levels of educational attainment are linked to higher incomes and better-quality jobs, and parental education is connected to children’s health and levels of educational attainment. 

 Education is not just about what is learned in the classroom; it is also about the doors it unlocks to future well-being.


1. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2018). Education. Retrieved from: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/explore-health-rankings/what-and-why-we-rank/health-factors/social-and-economic-factors/education

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, September 1). Health Disparities. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/disparities/index.htm

3. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2011). Education and Health [Issue brief]. Retrieved from: https://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2011/rwjf70447

Published: 12/15/19

Edited: 1/15/20