Activity Participation

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Percent of Total All Grades Students Reporting That They Participate in 1-5 Activities Outside of School, 2019: by Region

PercentCompare to State Average: 75.1%
Minnesota75.1%Barchart image
East Central73.5%Barchart image
Metro76.2%Barchart image
Non-Metro73.9%Barchart image
Northwest71.7%Barchart image
Northeast76.1%Barchart image
Southeast74.7%Barchart image
Southwest73.6%Barchart image
West Central73.8%Barchart image

About the Indicator:

Students were asked a series of questions about their weekly participation in activities outside of school. The students represented in this indicator reported whether they participated in the following community activities:

  • Sports teams, such as park and rec teams, school teams, in-house teams, or traveling teams

  • School sponsored activities or clubs that are not sports, such as drama, music, chess, or science club

  • Tutoring, homework help, or academic programs

  • Leadership activities, such as student government, youth councils, or committees

  • Artistic lessons, such as music or dance

  • Physical activity lessons, such as tennis or karate

  • Other community clubs and programs such as 4-H, Scouts, Y-clubs, or community ed

  • Religious activities such as religious services, education, or youth group

Response options for each of the 8 items are: 0 days; 1 day; 2 days; 3 to 4 days; and 5 or more days. A positive response, presented here, is participation in any combination of these activities, between 1 and 5 times a week.

According to 2019 MSS data, 8th, 9th, and 11th graders who reported participation in 1-5 activities were 1.3 times less likely to report alcohol use; 1.4 times less likely to report tobacco use; 1.9 times less likely to report marijuana use; and 1.6 times less likely to report prescription drug misuse. Use is compared to students who don't participate at all, or who are involved in activities more than 5 times a week.

PLEASE NOTE: The reporting of this indicator changed in 2019, and prior year data were analyzed with the new method. Previously, reported ANY weekly participation ONLY in the following activities:

  • Club or community sports teams, such as park and rec teams
  • Other community clubs and programs such as 4-H, Scouts, Y-clubs, or community ed
  • Religious activities such as religious services, education, or youth group

To access data analyzed with the previous method, or for more clarification, please email


Data Source: Minnesota Student Survey (MSS)

Description: The MSS is a confidential and anonymous self-administered survey given to students attending Minnesota public, charter and tribal schools. From 1995 to 2010, the survey was administered to students in 6th, 9th, and 12th grades. New in 2013, the survey was administered to students in 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades. Trend data are now only available for 9th graders, and only for survey questions that did not change. Most schools elect to participate in the survey; in 2013, this included 84% of public schools in Minnesota.

Although the data are not presented here, the survey is also administered to area learning centers, juvenile correction facilities and private schools electing to participate.

Sponsored by: Minnesota Department of Education

Geographic Level: State, Region, and County

Aggregated data at the state and county level do not reveal disparities that may exist within a given geographic area.

Frequency: Data collected and reported every three years

Characteristics: The results of the MSS are also available at a county level. Data Privacy requirements mandate that data is presented in a manner such that no individual student can be identified through the presentation of the results. As part of the Data Privacy practices, the results are also presented in a manner that no individual school district could be identified through the results. Therefore, for counties that have only one school district, the results are not presented. Results are also withheld for counties in which the minimum number for student participation was not met.

The MSS is a “census” of schools, not a sample. The school districts get their own data. Fifth-graders were not asked all substance use questions. Some school districts do not participate, and student participation within the school district can vary widely. These data are self-reported.