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Maternal Mortality Among Vulnerable US Communities

This report covers the alarming reality of maternal mortality in the United States, where the maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births) stands as one of the highest among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, bucking the global trend of decline. Starting with a mortality rate of 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987, the ratio has soared to 32.9 in 2021. In stark contrast, high-income peer countries like Canada had a ratio of 8.6 in 2018, and New Zealand boasted a mere 1.7. 

Maternal mortality has multiple potential contributing factors, and a recent review of pregnancy-related deaths in 36 states found that 84 percent were preventable. When there is a disparity in maternal mortality, a corresponding disparity likely exists in one (or several) of maternal mortality’s contributing factors, representing potential targets for policies aimed at reducing these deaths. This report focuses on rates of maternal death in states with large vulnerable populations, focusing on the South and examining disparities by race and age. 

Read the full report, linked above, to learn more.