Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 maternities, and maternal mortality ratio.


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Headline data

Source: National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)

Geographical Area: United Kingdom

Unit of Measurement: Rate per 100,000 maternities, Rate per 100,000 live births

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

Indicator available

Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 maternities, and maternal mortality ratio.

Indicator description

Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 maternities is the recommended series for UK data. Maternal mortality ratio is included as internationally comparable data. Maternal mortality ratio uses number of live births as the denominator.

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Unit of measurement

Rate per 100,000 maternities, Rate per 100,000 live births


Maternities - Women who give birth to a live infant or a stillborn infant at 24 weeks or greater gestation

Maternal death - The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Deprivation quintile - Deprivation is measured using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). This is the official measure of relative deprivation in England. For more information see the The English Indices of Deprivation (PDF, 2.18MB).

Available disaggregations

Ethnicity and deprivation quintile are only available when England is selected.

Further data on frequency of maternal mortality by other characteristics are available in the source data. Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 maternities is also available for specific country of birth for some countries, and can be found in table 2.12 in the source data.


No calculations on the source data were required.

Other information

Maternal mortality rate

Maternal mortality in the UK is measured as a rate per 100,000 maternities, rather than as a ratio per 100,000 live births. Maternal mortality rate provides a closer approximation of the risk associated with pregnancy than maternal mortality ratio.

Maternal deaths are identified through a variety of sources by the MBRRACE-UK collaboration at the NPEU, University of Oxford. Further details of ascertainment methods, additional disaggregations, details of causes of death and recommendations for improving care can be found in the MBRRACE-UK Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care report. The report includes confidence intervals (a measure of reliability) and analysis, including statistical significance of the data.

Maternal mortality ratio

Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is estimated for the UK using routinely reported data. It is included as a series here for international comparability only. The data for MMR is originally sourced from Office for National Statistics, General Register Office for Scotland, and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

MMR is much lower (about half) than the actual rates as identified through the UK CEMD, which uses multiple sources of death identification. This emphasises the importance of the additional case identification and checking undertaken by the MBRRACE-UK team to give an accurate maternal mortality estimate.

New figures are not reported, as, at the time of publication there had not been a complete triennium since these ratios were calculated. The figures for 2018-2020 will be available in the 2022 publication.

Data follows the UN specification for this indicator. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.

Data last updated 11 January 2022
Metadata last updated 17 January 2022

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name

Maternal mortality ratio

Target name

By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births

Global indicator description
UN designated tier

Tier I

UN custodian agency

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Link to UN metadata United Nations Sustainable Development Goals metadata for target 3.1 opens in a new window

National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)



Earliest available data


Geographical coverage


Link to data source MBRRACE Reports opens in a new window
Release date 11 November 2021
Next release

10 November 2022 (provisional)

Statistical classification


Contact details

Other information

The most recent data are in MBRRACE-UK - Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care 2021 - Lessons learned to inform maternity care from the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries in Maternal Death and Morbidity 2017–19.

Quality and methodology information are available in the report.

Maternal mortality rate data are originally sourced from the Office for National Statistics, General Register Office for Scotland, and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.