Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 maternities

Maternal mortality in the UK is measured as a rate per 100,000 maternities (defined as women who give birth to a live infant or a stillborn infant at 24 weeks or greater gestation), and not a ratio per 100,000 live births, in order to provide a closer approximation of the risk associated with pregnancy.

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 reports.

The maternal mortality ratio for the UK, following the UN specification, can also be found in the MBRRACE-UK reports using the link above.


Choose categories from the dropdowns below to see different breakdowns of the data. Some will not be available until a higher level is chosen.

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Headline data

Source: National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)

Geographical Area: UK

Unit of Measurement: Rate per 100,000 maternities

Footnote: Please note, disaggregation by ethnicity and IMD quintile is only available for England.

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

Indicator description
Geographical coverage


Unit of measurement

Rate per 100,000 maternities


A maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination 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. IMD - Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Available disaggregations

Maternal mortality rate = (Number of maternal mortalities / total number maternities) * 100,000

Other information

This indicator is being used as an approximation of the UN SDG Indicator. Where possible, we will work to identify or develop UK data to meet the global indicator specification. This indicator has been identified in collaboration with topic experts.

Data last updated 16 September 2021
Metadata last updated 16 September 2021

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 Lessons learned to inform maternity care from the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity 2015–17 opens in a new window
Release date 13 December 2019
Next release


Statistical classification


Contact details

Other information

The underlying data from the report has been sourced directly from NPEU. Please note - Disaggregations for IMD quintile and ethnicity are only available for England.