Academic Publication

Correlates of maternal mortality in developing countries: an ecological study in 82 countries

Tadele Girum
Publication Year:
July 07, 2020
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being


Maternal mortality is a major public health problem that disproportionately affects developing countries. Although some progress has been made, there is still a lot to improve upon. This report seeks to identify potential determinants and implementation efforts. This country correlate of maternal mortality and developing countries.


This study used  an international data base from the World Health Organization, World Bank, UNDP and UNICEF. The time period for this study was from 2008 to 2016. The independent variable was socioeconomic status and the dependent variable was the maternal mortality ratio.


Across all developing countries, maternal mortality was high and there was a lot of variance even within countries. There was a significant relationship between maternal mortality and socioeconomic status. Lower antenatal care, fewer skilled birth attendances, less access to water,  low literacy rates were all correlated with a high maternal mortality ratio. In other words, this relationship was inversely related. 

Next Steps

There are many social determinants to maternal mortality and policy makers and stakeholders must carefully consider each aspect. With further collaboration and research, we can decrease the risk for mothers.


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