Economic burden of maternal mortality in the USA, 2018-2020

J Comp Eff Res. 2022 Sep;11(13):927-933. doi: 10.2217/cer-2022-0056. Epub 2022 Jul 14.


Aim: To evaluate the economic burden of age- and race/ethnicity-based US maternal mortality disparities. Economic burden is estimated by years of potential life lost (YPLL) and value of statistical life (VSL). Methods: Maternal mortality counts (2018-2020) were obtained from the CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database. Life-expectancy data were obtained from the Social Security actuarial tables. YPLL and VSL were calculated and stratified by age (classified as under 25, 25-39, and 40 and over) and race/ethnicity (classified as Hispanic, non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black). Results: Economic measures associated with maternal mortality increased by an estimated 30%, from a YPLL of 32,824 and VSL of US$7.9 billion in 2018 to a YPLL of 43,131 and VSL of US$10.4 billion in 2020. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that age, race and ethnicity are major drivers of the US maternal mortality economic burden.

Keywords: health economics; maternal mortality; racial disparity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Financial Stress*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • United States / epidemiology