Maternal Mortality Rate by Country 2021: A Global Perspective

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In a world that continues to make remarkable progress in healthcare, the issue of maternal mortality remains a deeply concerning challenge. Maternal mortality refers to the death of a woman during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days after delivery. While the global maternal mortality rate has decreased over the years, it’s essential to examine the situation by country to identify disparities, trends, and areas for improvement. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the maternal mortality rates across various countries in 2021, shedding light on the factors contributing to this issue and exploring potential solutions.

Understanding Maternal Mortality

What is Maternal Mortality?

Maternal mortality is a critical public health indicator that reflects a nation’s healthcare system’s quality and accessibility. It encompasses both direct and indirect causes of maternal death. Direct causes include complications during pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum, such as hemorrhage, infection, and eclampsia. Indirect causes are pre-existing medical conditions aggravated by pregnancy.

Global Trends in Maternal Mortality

Positive Developments

The global maternal mortality rate has seen significant improvement over the years. In 1990, the estimated global maternal mortality ratio was 385 per 100,000 live births. By 2017, this number had dropped to 211. This downward trend indicates that efforts to reduce maternal mortality have had some success.

Regional Disparities

While the overall trend is positive, regional disparities persist. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia continue to experience high maternal mortality rates compared to other regions. These disparities highlight the need for targeted interventions and increased healthcare access in these areas.

Maternal Mortality Rates by Country in 2021

Nordic Countries: Leading the Way

  1. Norway: With a maternal mortality rate of just 3 per 100,000 live births, Norway boasts one of the lowest rates globally. This can be attributed to excellent healthcare infrastructure and education.
  2. Sweden: Sweden follows closely, with a rate of 4 per 100,000 live births. The Swedish healthcare system’s efficiency and emphasis on prenatal care contribute to this low figure.

Challenges in Developing Nations

  1. Nigeria: In contrast, Nigeria faces significant challenges, with a maternal mortality rate of 814 per 100,000 live births. Factors like inadequate healthcare access and poor maternal education play a role in these high numbers.
  2. India: India, with a rate of 174 per 100,000 live births, grapples with the burden of a large population. While improvements have been made, the sheer number of births poses challenges.

Factors Influencing Maternal Mortality

Access to Healthcare

Access to quality healthcare services is a fundamental factor in maternal mortality rates. Countries with robust healthcare infrastructure tend to have lower maternal mortality rates.

Maternal Education

Maternal education plays a crucial role. Educated women are more likely to seek prenatal care and make informed decisions regarding their health.

Strategies to Reduce Maternal Mortality

Improved Healthcare Infrastructure

Investing in healthcare infrastructure, particularly in rural and underserved areas, can significantly reduce maternal mortality rates.

Education and Awareness

Promoting maternal education and awareness about pregnancy-related complications is essential. Campaigns and community programs can make a difference.


Maternal mortality rates vary significantly by country in 2021, reflecting disparities in healthcare access, education, and infrastructure. While many nations have made remarkable progress in reducing maternal mortality, challenges persist, especially in developing regions. Efforts should continue to focus on improving healthcare infrastructure, maternal education, and raising awareness to ensure every woman receives the care she deserves.


  1. What is the definition of maternal mortality rate?
  2. Why do some countries have higher maternal mortality rates than others?
  3. What are some successful strategies to reduce maternal mortality?
    • Successful strategies include improving healthcare infrastructure, promoting maternal education, and raising awareness about pregnancy-related complications.
  4. Which regions have the highest maternal mortality rates?

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