Indian maternal mortality situation

India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) decreased from 103 deaths per lakh in 2017–2019 to 97 deaths per lakh in 2018–2020. The most recent data made available by the office of the Registrar General of India shows that this represents a significant improvement above the 130 deaths per lakh in the years 2014 to 2016.

Maternal mortality

Regardless of the length or location of the pregnancy, maternal death is defined by the World Health Organization as the death of a woman while she is pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of her pregnancy from any cause associated with or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Maternal mortality ratio (MMR)

  • The primary indicator is the maternal mortality ratio, which is a Kay indicator.
  • The number of maternal fatalities during a certain time period per 100,000 live births over the same time period is known as the maternal mortality ratio, or MMR.
  • It essentially depicts the risk of death in a single pregnancy or a single live birth and shows the risk of maternal death relative to the number of live births.
  • Target 3.1 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) calls for bringing the global maternal death rate down to fewer than 70 per 100,000 live births.

Maternal mortality Ratio (MMR) in India: recent figures

  • The MMR in the north-eastern states decreased from 2014 to 2016 when it was at a dangerously high 237 fatalities per one lakh live births. According to data provided on November 28, 2022, this has greatly improved over time, reaching 229 in 2015–2017, 215 in 2016–2018, and 205 in 2017–2019.
  • Southern states consistently do better than the national average. From 46 in 2014–2016, 42 in 2015–2017, 43 in 2016–2018, and 30 in 2017–2019, the southern states have nearly always outperformed the nation as a whole.
  • Best-performing state remains to be Kerala, which has a low MMR of 19 per one lakh live births.
  • Assam has improved over time while maintaining a high MMR at the regional level (195): Assam has improved over time while maintaining a high MMR at the regional level (195).
  • States that perform better: Apart from Kerala, the states that perform better are Maharashtra (33), Telangana (43), Andhra Pradesh (45), and Gujarat.
  • Other states with high MMR include West Bengal (105) and Rajasthan (113), as well as Madhya Pradesh (173), Uttar Pradesh (167), Chhattisgarh (137), Odisha (119), Bihar (118), and Haryana (110).
  • The Empowered Action Group (EAG), a grouping of socioeconomically impoverished regions on which the progress of the nation depends, includes the majority of the states with high MMR.

Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) v/s Maternal Mortality Rate

  • Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR): This figure is obtained from the Sample Registration System’s reporting of the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (SRS).
  • Maternal Mortality Rate: This figure is determined by taking the number of deaths of mothers among women aged 15 to 49 who were reported to the SRS.

Maternal mortality rate in India

  • The maternal mortality rate in India is six.
  • Madhya Pradesh (15.3), Uttar Pradesh (14.3), Assam (12.1), Bihar (11) and Chhattisgarh are some of the states with low performance (9.9).
  • With a maternal mortality rate of under 0.9, Kerala is the only state to accomplish this feat.
  • Other states in the top group are Tamil Nadu (2.4), Telangana (2.3), Andhra Pradesh (2.4), and Maharashtra (1.8). (2.7).
  • Similar trends can be seen in the lifetime risk data, with Madhya Pradesh leading the way at 0.53%, followed by Uttar Pradesh (0.50%), Assam (0.42%), Bihar (0.49%), and Chhattisgarh (0.49%). (0.35 per cent).
  • The lifetime risk of maternal death is 0.21 percent at the national level.


Despite constantly improving maternal mortality rates as it approaches its national goal of bringing MMR below 100, India continues to fall short of the MMR target set by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which is 70 deaths per 100,000 live births. By 2030, the nation has eight years to reach this goal. There is still much space for improvement, according to several markers of maternal health.

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