Report on the Health and Well-Being of North Dakotans

Health and well-being are the building blocks of thriving individuals and communities. All too often, we find our efforts and resources being directed to the treatment and care for those experiencing illness and neglecting opportunities to address these health issues on the front end.

To examine well-being, health researchers often use five established categories, called the social determinants of health:

Economic stability


Social and community

Neighborhood and built

Access to health care

In this study, prepared for the BCBSND Caring Foundation by the NDSU Center for Social Research, the five determinants are investigated across North Dakota to offer a clearer picture of our state's overall well-being.


Available below are PDFs of the full report, the executive summary, a helpful North Dakota demograhic snapshot and a roundtable recap:

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Video: Original version

Video: Highlight version

Purpose of the Study

The BCBSND Caring Foundation sought to better understand social determinants of health across North Dakota to gain valuable insights for the future. This data can help identify disparities and barriers that impact people’s health. Further, it can serve as a tool for discussion and collaboration on how to develop community-driven solutions to improve the well-being of North Dakotans.

Collage of individuals and families from North Dakota.
Collage of individuals and families from North Dakota.

Study Methodology

The findings and conclusions of this study come from North Dakota State University's Center for Social Research. The research unit was engaged to conduct this study, with sponsorship from the BCBSND Caring Foundation, to better understand how the five social determinants of health are impacting the ability of North Dakotans to thrive.

36% Living in Shortage Area

Over a third of North Dakotans live in an area experiencing a shortage of primary care providers.

15 of 53 Counties

Over a dozen North Dakota counties lack licensed child care spots to reach all young children who may need it.

#2 in Binge Drinking

Only one other state has a higher rate of binge drinking than North Dakota.

31% Preschool Enrollment

North Dakota has the lowest percentage of young children enrolled in early learning programs in the nation.

35.3 Median Age

North Dakota is the only state to become younger in the past 10 years.

Additional Resources