The Maternal Mortality Crisis

An overview of pregnancy-related deaths and the ongoing efforts reduce the rate of maternal mortality

Global Scope

In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated over 300,000 women worldwide died due to pregnancy-related causes. 

That’s equivalent to

0
deaths per month
0
deaths per day
0
deaths per hour

Maternal Mortality in the
United States

Despite modern medical advancements, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States has trended upward since 1987

A majority of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are caused by preventable factors

  • Hemorrhage, 11.0%
  • Infection or sepsis, 12.5%
  • Amniotic fluid embolism, 5.6%
  • Thrombotic pulmonary or other embolism, 9.0%
  • Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, 6.9%
  • Anesthesia complications, 0.3%
  • Cerebrovascular accidents, 7.7%
  • Cardiomyopathy, 11.0%
  • Other cardiovascular conditions, 15.7%
  • Other noncardiovascular medical conditions, 13.9%

Causes of pregnancy-related death in the United States: 2011-2016

Maternal Mortality by State

Rank State Rate
1California4.5
2Massachusetts6.1
3Nevada6.2
4Colorado11.3
5Hawaii11.7
6West Virginia11.7
7Alabama11.9
8Minnesota13
9Connecticut13.2
10Oregon13.7
11Delaware14
12Wisconsin14.3
13Washington14.8
14Virginia15.6
15Maine15.7
16North Carolina15.8
17Pennsylvania16.3
18Illinois16.6
19Nebraska16.8
20New Hampshire16.8
21Utah16.8
22Kansas17.7
23Iowa17.9
24Rhode Island18.3
25Arizona18.8
26North Dakota18.9
27Kentucky19.4
28Michigan19.4
29Ohio20.3
30New York20.6
31Idaho21.2
32Mississippi22.6
33Tennessee23.3
34Oklahoma23.4
35Maryland23.5
36Florida23.8
37Montana24.4
38Wyoming24.6
39New Mexico25.6
40South Carolina26.5
41South Dakota28
42Missouri32.6
43Texas34.2
44Arkansas34.8
45New Jersey38.1
46Indiana41.4
47Louisiana44.8
48Georgia46.2
0
Average rate of pregnancy-related deaths (per 100,000 live births)
Lowest Rate: California
4.5
Highest Rate: Georgia
46.2

Racial Disparities

Approximately

  700 women 

die annually in the United States as a result of pregnancy or pregnancy related complications

United State Maternal Mortality by Race

Total
Black
Indigenous
Asian/Pacific Islander
White
Latinix

Compared to white women, maternal mortality rates are:

0 X
higher for black women
0 X
higher for America/Alaska Indigenous women

Kira's Story

4Kira4Moms was founded with the mission to advocate for improved maternal health policies and regulations, to educate the public about the impact of maternal mortality in communities, provide peer support to the victim’s family, friends, and promote the idea that maternal mortality should be viewed,and discussed as a human rights issue.