Feb 23, 2022 - Health

CDC: Maternal mortality disparities have worsened

Maternal mortality rates, by race/ethnicity
Data: National Center for Health Statistics; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. for 2020 was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, up from a rate of 20.1 in 2019, newly released CDC data shows.

Why it matters: The U.S. still has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world and previous research has largely attributed that to an outsized prevalence among Black mothers.

Zoom in: The maternal mortality rate for Black women was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, nearly three times the rate for white women (19.1 per 100,000).

  • That's also a significant increase over 2019, when Black mothers had a mortality rate of 44 deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • Maternal mortality rates also increased with maternal age. Rates in 2020 were 13.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for women under age 25, 22.8 for those aged 25–39, and 107.9 for those aged 40 and over.
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