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About the Data Visualization

Data Sources/Surveys

The national Healthy Minds Study (HMS), administered by the University of Michigan, provides a detailed picture of mental health, bystander intervention, and campus climate in college or graduate student populations in 36 institutions across the United States. More than six thousand students participated in the survey for UW–Madison during Spring 2019. Data represented in this visualization is from the responses of 3,762 undergraduates. These data are weighted by gender, race/ethnicity, academic level, and grade point average to more accurately represent the student population at UW–Madison.

The National College Health Assessment II (NCHA II) collects data about students’ habits, behaviors, and perceptions on prevalent health topics. UW–Madison students responded in Spring 2018. Data shown represents the responses from 449 undergraduates out of 670 total respondents. Due to small sample sizes, some data were aggregated (e.g., race-ethnicity, sexual orientation) to provide more representative percentages for responses. Some demographic variables available in other surveys (e.g., field of study, first-generation student status) were not asked in the NCHA II and thus are not available or displayed.

 The Color of Drinking surveys examine the impact of UW–Madison’s alcohol culture on undergraduate students of color. The survey was administered in 2018 and 1,528 undergraduate students (78% students of color) participated. Due to small sample sizes, some data were aggregated (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender categories) to provide more representative percentages for responses. Some demographic variables available in other surveys (e.g., field of study, first-generation student status) were not asked in Color of Drinking and thus are not available.

Demographic Indicators

We recognize that marginalized groups are often disproportionately negatively impacted by social determinants of health, and we want to ensure that our analyses address that. For groups listed below, we were unable to disaggregate due to small sample sizes; however, in further large group analyses of HMS (that includes graduate students), the results will include full breakdowns by race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

  • Gender: Due to small sample sizes and after discussion with the UW–Madison Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, we grouped categories such as “Trans male/Trans man,” “Trans female/Trans woman,” “Genderqueer/Gender non-conforming,” and “Self-identify” into “Gender Diverse.” 
  • Race/Ethnicity: Due to small sample sizes and after discussion with the UHS Healthy Minds Survey Data Team at UW–Madison, we grouped categories related to race into “White” and “Students of Color.” Across surveys, “Students of Color” could include “African American or Black,” “American Indian or Alaskan Native,” “Asian American or Asian,” “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,” “Hispanic/Latinx,” “Middle Eastern, Arab, or Arab American,” or “Self-identify.” 
  • First-Generation Student Status: We defined a first-generation student as one whose parents have not completed a bachelor’s degree. For the Healthy Minds Survey results, students were asked for each parent (or stepparent) about the highest level of education completed so stepparents were included if students chose to include them as one of their two parents.
  • Sexual Orientation: This analysis grouped “Gay” and “Lesbian” because some respondents chose both Gay and Lesbian. We also grouped “Self-identify,” “Queer,” “Questioning” and more than one sexual orientation due to a wide variation in the selections chosen (Healthy Minds respondents were allowed to select all that applied). 
  • Year in School: In surveys that included this variable, students were asked “What year are you in your current degree program?” or a very similar question and could answer “1st year” through “7th+ year.” Due to small sample sizes in later years, we grouped anything “5th year” or higher with “4th year.”
  • Admit Type: Students were asked, “Did you transfer from another campus/institution to this school? In the Healthy Minds Survey, response options included, “Yes, I transferred from a community or junior college,” “Yes, I transferred from a four-year college or university,” and “No.” Both “yes” options were combined for this analysis.
  • Age: Respondents selected individual ages and these were grouped in alignment with the University of Michigan’s Healthy Minds Report. 
  • Field of Study: For the Healthy Minds Survey, students could select all that applied from a list of options. The question was, “What is your field of study?” In the analysis, we only displayed selections that had more than 80 responses, with “Undecided” as an exception since it was a mutually exclusive choice.