Childbirth Death Is Way More Likely In The US Than The UK, And It’s Getting Worse

Rachel Feltman | Quartz | May 2, 2014

The US is one of only eight countries to see an increase in childbirth-related deaths since 2003, according to a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. While maternal mortality has dropped by 3.1% in developed countries (and 1.3% globally) since 1990, it increased by 1.7% in the US during the same time period.

More than 18 mothers died for every 100,000 live births in the US in 2013, which is more than double the rates in Saudi Arabia and Canada, and more than triple that in the UK. The biggest increase occurred in women aged 20-24: While only 7.2 women died for every 100,000 births in 1990, that age group saw a mortality rate of 14 per 100,000 in 2013. Now the US is ranked at 60 out of 180 countries in the measures of maternal death (where a lower number indicates fewer deaths). This is down from a rank of 50th based on the last available data (from 2004-2008), and a rank of 22nd in 1990...