Wisconsin

Please be sure to read the data notes & limitations page. This explains many aspects of these comments, including how only changes over time can be discussed as statistically significant, and why the comparisons with national rates discuss data for selected subgroups.

Overview of Findings

Findings for Wisconsin were mixed. Several objectives showed improvement, including overall mortality for younger adolescents, safety belt use, riding with a driver who has been drinking, physical fighting, weapon carrying, binge drinking, and tobacco use. For many objectives, there was little or no change, including motor vehicle crash mortality, suicide mortality for older adolescents, marijuana use, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, sexual experience, current sexual activity, and condom use. Overall mortality for older adolescents and young adults increased.

Wisconsin’s final rates compared favorably with national rates for the following objectives: overall mortality for young adults, riding with a driver who had been drinking, physical fighting, weapon carrying, sexual experience, current sexual activity, condom use, and tobacco use. However, the 2009 Wisconsin rates of safety belt use were worse than national rates. Wisconsin had similar rates on several objectives, including overall mortality among younger and older adolescents, motor vehicle crash mortality, suicide among older adolescents, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, and tobacco use.

Highlights of Findings by Objective

Jump To: Mortality; Unintentional Injury; Violence; Substance Use and Mental Health; Reproductive Health; Chronic Disease Prevention

Mortality

The rate of overall mortality in Wisconsin increased among older adolescent and young adults and decreased among younger adolescents. This pattern held for most gender and racial/ethnic subgroups; Hispanics, especially young adult males, appear to have an especially large increase. A notable exception to overall patterns was the decrease in young adult mortality among Black males. Among older adolescents, males had twice the mortality rate as females; among young adults this gender difference was three-fold. Among young adults, Blacks had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics and Whites. Blacks also had higher rates than Whites among older adolescents.

Comparison with national data. As in Wisconsin, national mortality rates decreased for younger adolescents and increased for young adults. The national decrease among older adolescents stands in contrast to the increase among that group in Wisconsin. In 2007, Wisconsin mortality rates were similar to national rates for younger and older adolescents, were slightly lower than rates among young adults. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns roughly matched the patterns noted for Wisconsin.

Unintentional Injury

(motor vehicle crashes, safety belt use, & riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol)

Please note the data for safety belt use are presented as “not wearing safety belt,” the inverse of the objective. This text describes safety belt use.

Adolescent mortality in Wisconsin due to motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) was flat from baseline overall. A small increase in the rate for males was offset by a decrease in the rate for females. In 2007, the rate of MVC mortality for males was nearly three times the rate for females.

Comparison with national data. National motor vehicle mortality was also flat from baseline. In 2007, the overall rate of MVC mortality in Wisconsin matched the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for Wisconsin.

Rates of safety belt use in Wisconsin increased significantly from baseline, with an especially large increase among males. Rates also increased for Whites, overall and for males and females. In 2009, females had a higher rate than males.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of safety belt use also increased from baseline. As in Wisconsin, national rates increased for both males and females and for Whites. In 2009, the overall rate of safety belt use for Wisconsin was higher than the national rate. As in Wisconsin, females had higher rates of safety belt use than males.

Rates of adolescents in Wisconsin who reported riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol declined from baseline, with an especially large decrease among males compared to females. In 2009, males and females had matching rates of this behavior. Rates were lower for Whites than for Hispanics and Blacks, who had roughly equal rates.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of riding with a driver who has been drinking decreased to a smaller extent than Wisconsin. In 2009, the rate of this behavior in Wisconsin was slightly lower than the national rate. As in Wisconsin, Whites had the lowest rates. However, Hispanics had the highest rate nationally, followed by Blacks; this contrast with roughly equal rates for these two groups in Wisconsin. As in Wisconsin, males and females had matching rates nationally.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

Homicide rates for older adolescents increased slightly from baseline. Rates for most subgroups were based on fewer than 20 deaths and thus were unsuitable for analyses.

Comparison with national data. The national homicide rate was flat among older adolescents, in contrast to a slight increase in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin rates of physical fighting decreased significantly from baseline, both overall and for all males. The rates for Whites, including both males and females, also decreased significantly. In 2009 males had much higher rates of physical fighting than females. Blacks had the highest rate, followed by Hispanics, and then Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of physical fighting also decreased significantly from baseline; the rate for males overall decreased to a smaller extent than in Wisconsin. In 2009, the overall rate of physical fighting in Wisconsin was lower than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin rates of weapon carrying decreased from baseline, both overall and for all males. Rates also decreased significantly among Whites overall and among White males. In 2009, the rate for males was five times the rate for females. Whites had the lowest rate; Blacks and Hispanics had roughly matching rates.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of weapon carrying was flat from baseline, in contrast to a decrease in Wisconsin. In 2009, rates of weapon carrying in Wisconsin were lower than the national rate, with especially large differences among White males. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted in Wisconsin. However, national patterns for racial/ethnic groups differed from the state’s patterns. Nationally, the rate was highest for Whites, followed very closely by Hispanics; Blacks had the lowest rates. In Wisconsin, by contrast, Blacks and Hispanics had the highest rates, and Whites had the lowest rates.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

(binge drinking, marijuana use, suicide, suicide attempts requiring medical attention)

Rates of binge drinking in Wisconsin decreased significantly from baseline, with an especially large decrease among White males. In 2009, the rate for males remained higher than the rate for females, although this gap decreased by nearly half since baseline. Rates were highest among Hispanics, followed by Whites, and then Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent binge drinking decreased very little from baseline, in contrast to a sizable decrease in Wisconsin. The final national gender and racial/ethnic patterns were similar to patterns noted for Wisconsin.

Rates of marijuana use in Wisconsin were flat from baseline. Rates for White females decreased. In 2009, males had a slightly higher rate of marijuana use than females. Blacks had the highest rates, followed by Hispanics, then Whites.

Comparison with national data. Nationally, the rate of marijuana use decreased very slightly from baseline, compared to flat rates in Wisconsin. As in Wisconsin, males had slightly higher rates than females nationally. Whites reported the highest rates nationally, followed by Blacks, then Hispanics; in contrast, Whites in Wisconsin reported lower rates than Blacks and Hispanics.

Rates of suicide mortality in Wisconsin changed little from baseline among older adolescents. Rates for White older adolescents decreased very slightly.

Comparison with national data. National rates of suicide mortality also changed little from baseline.  In 2007, the suicide rate for older adolescents in Wisconsin roughly matched the national rate for that group.

The rate of adolescent suicide attempts in Wisconsin requiring medical attention was flat from baseline. In 2009, the rate for females was similar to the rate for males. The rate for Hispanics was higher than the rate for Whites.

Comparison with national data. National rates of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention decreased slightly from baseline, in contrast to a flat rate in Wisconsin. In 2009, rates for Wisconsin were similar to national rates. The national gender and race/ethnicity patterns roughly matched the patterns noted for Wisconsin.

Reproductive Health

(sexual inexperience, no current sexual activity, condom use)

Please note, for the first two objectives, the text and tables present findings about adolescents who are sexually experienced and currently sexually active, the inverse of the actual objective. For the third objective, the table presents findings for lack of condom use, the inverse of the objective. The text describes condom use. (See Data Notes & Limitations).

Wisconsin rates of adolescents having engaged in sexual intercourse were flat from baseline.  In 2009, the rate for females roughly matched the rate for males. The rate for Hispanics was much higher than the rate for Whites.

Comparison with national data. National rates of sexually experienced adolescents were also flat from baseline. In 2009, the overall rate of sexually experienced adolescents in Wisconsin was lower than national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns roughly matched the patterns noted for Wisconsin.

Rates of sexually experienced adolescents in Wisconsin reporting current sexual activity were flat from baseline. In 2009, rates of current sexual activity were higher among females than among males. Hispanics had a somewhat higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of currently sexually active adolescents was also flat from baseline. In 2009, the Wisconsin rate of current sexual activity was lower than the national rate. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for Wisconsin. As in Wisconsin, national rates were higher for Hispanics than for Whites; however, this difference was larger in Wisconsin than nationally.

Rates of adolescent condom use in Wisconsin did not change significantly from baseline. However, rates for females increased considerably, both overall and among White females. In 2009, the rate for males was higher than the rate for females.

Comparison with national data. National rates of condom use were also flat from baseline. The national rate for females was also flat, in contrast to an increase in Wisconsin. Nationally, rates increased for Whites, overall and for White males and females; this stands in contrast to Wisconsin, where only the rate for White females increased. In 2009, the Wisconsin’s overall rate of condom use was slightly higher than the national rate. As in Wisconsin, males had higher rates than females nationally.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

The rate of tobacco use in Wisconsin decreased considerably from baseline. In 2009, males had a higher rate than females. Whites had the highest rates, followed closely by Hispanics; Blacks had the lowest rate.

Comparison with national data. National rates of tobacco also decreased significantly from baseline. In 2009, the Wisconsin rate roughly matched the national rate. As in Wisconsin, males had a higher rate than females nationally. National racial/ethnic patterns were also similar to Wisconsin patterns, with Whites reporting the highest rates, followed by Hispanic, and then Blacks. Nationally, the difference between Whites and Hispanic was larger than the difference for Wisconsin.

Additional data may be available at: http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/stats/index.htm