The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. Ranked on the spectrum of preventable loss, it is distressing that the US faces a maternal death rate that has only escalated over the decades. Maternal mortality is a critical indicator of a nation's healthcare system, encompassing death due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth, or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy. Deaths from all causes related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, excluding accidental or incidental causes, contribute to this rate.
Recent analysis shows that, far from improvement, the crisis seems to be worsening, with the U.S. suffering an average of 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, based on 2018 data. Evoking alarm is the fact that the U.S. stands alone as the only developed country experiencing a rise in maternal mortality rates.
Louisiana sadly leads the list with the highest maternal mortality rate, a shocking 58.1 deaths per 100,000 births. Georgia lags not far behind with a death rate of 48.4, underscoring a significant problem across the state. Indiana rounds off the top three states with a maternal mortality rate of 43.6.
Idaho and New Jersey are next on this list of unfortunate distinction, with morbidity rates of 41.8 and 38.1, respectively. Arkansas has a maternal mortality rate of 37.5, followed by Alabama reporting 36.4 deaths per 100k births. Missouri and Texas similarly face high rates of 34.6 and 34.5 respectively. South Carolina, while having the tenth highest rate, still reports a worrying count of 27.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 births.
States with the highest maternal mortality rates: