Data highlight

Nationwide, Maternal Mortality is three times more common for Black and Indigenous women than White women. Oklahoma is ranked 39 (of 50) for its maternal mortality outcomes. Between 2018-2021 Arkansas had the worst MMR at 43.5 per 100,000 live births and California had the best outcomes with an MMR of 10.1


The Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is the number of deaths from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes) during pregnancy and childbirth or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, per 100,000 live births

Why we care:

Everyone deserves the right to a safe and healthy birth. However, the reality is that many in our state face difficulty in attaining this right. Maternal mortality reflects not only the health of individual mothers but also the health of communities as a whole. 

In our state Black (67.5 deaths per 100,000 live births) and Indigenous women (58.9 deaths per 100,000 live births) are over 3x as likely to die from childbirth or childbirth-related complications than their White counterparts (21.2 deaths per 100,000 live births). In the face of these alarming statistics, it is crucial to delve deeper into the root causes of these disparities and work towards a more equitable healthcare system for all. 

To understand these statewide disparities, the Oklahoma Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) was established in 2019. The MMRC releases an annual report detailing maternal mortality statistics for the state at a 3 year rolling rate, the most recent MMRC Report includes data from 2019-2021. 

The most recent report includes recommendations to promote self-advocacy efforts by pregnant women and their families, adopt Team Birth initiatives, and increase “utilization of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) to improve identification of individuals in need of referral for substance use intervention and treatment”.

3-Year Rolling Maternal Mortality Rate by Race/Ethnicity, Oklahoma 2015-2021

Source: Oklahoma Vital Statistics, 2015-2021

What we can do:

This issue brief was written by Metriarch staff as part of our Data Lookbook. Review and contributions made by Joyce Marshall, MPH. 

Suggested citation
 Metriarch. “Maternal and Child Health,” Data Lookbook (2024). URL:

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