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A heatmap detailing maternal mortality around the globe.

The Graphic Truth: Have global maternal mortality rates improved?

Maternal mortality – deaths that occur during pregnancy or childbirth – remains one of the most startling health indicators separating women in wealthy states from those in the developing world. While the global maternal mortality rate dropped by 34% in the two decades leading up to 2020, pregnancy and childbirth are still often deadly experiences for women, particularly in Africa, where they often lack access to pre and postpartum care. Throughout much of the West, meanwhile, rates of maternal mortality increased from 2016-2020. We take a look at the change in maternal mortality rates since 2000.

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