Maternal mortality ratio (national estimate, per 100,000 live births)
Definition: Maternal mortality ratio is the number of women who die from pregnancy-related causes while pregnant or within 42 days of pregnancy termination per 100,000 live births.
Description: The map below shows how Maternal mortality ratio (national estimate, per 100,000 live births) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Lesotho, with a value of 1,243.00. The country with the lowest value in the world is St. Lucia, with a value of 0.00.
Source: UNICEF, State of the World's Children, Childinfo, and Demographic and Health Surveys.
Limitations and Exceptions: Maternal mortality ratios are generally of unknown reliability, as are many other cause-specific mortality indicators. The ratios cannot be assumed to provide an exact estimate of maternal mortality.
Statistical Concept and Methodology: Reproductive health is a state of physical and mental well-being in relation to the reproductive system and its functions and processes. Means of achieving reproductive health include education and services during pregnancy and childbirth, safe and effective contraception, and prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death and disability among women of reproductive age in developing countries. Maternal mortality ratios are generally of unknown reliability, as are many other cause-specific mortality indicators. Household surveys such as Demographic and Health Surveys attempt to measure maternal mortality by asking respondents about survivorship of sisters. The main disadvantage of this method is that the estimates of maternal mortality that it produces pertain to 12 years or so before the survey, making them unsuitable for monitoring recent changes or observing the impact of interventions. In addition, measurement of maternal mortality is subject to many types of errors. Even in high-income countries with reliable vital registration systems, misclassification of maternal deaths has been found to lead to serious underestimation. The national estimates of maternal mortality ratios are based on national surveys, vital registration records, and surveillance data or are derived from community and hospital records.