Child Health USA 2006
Photographs of children's faces
Health Status > Infants


During the past several decades, the rate of maternal mortality in the United States has declined dramatically. However, the rate in 2004 (13.1 per 100,000 live births) was significantly different from the rate reported in 2002 (8.9 per 100,000). This may partly be due to a change in how pregnancy is recorded on death certificates.

Overall, there were 540 maternal deaths resulting from complications during pregnancy, childbirth, or up to 42 days postpartum in 2004. The maternal mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black women (36.1 per 100,000 live births) is about four times the rate among non-Hispanic White women (9.8 per 100,000 live births). This disparity has widened since 2000.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the risk of maternal death increases for women over age 30, regardless of race. Women aged 35 to 39 years have over three times the risk of maternal death as women aged 20 to 24 years.1

1 National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2004. Hyattsville, Maryland: 2004.


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Child Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Child Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.