The US Maternal Vulnerability Index is the first county-level, national-scale, open source tool to identify where and why mothers in the United States are vulnerable to poor health outcomes. Six MVI themes reflect 43 indicators associated with maternal health outcomes. Explore themes and overall vulnerability below.
What are the drivers of maternal vulnerability in each US county or state? They can include a range of factors across the personal, clinical, and environmental context in which mothers live, work, carry pregnancies, deliver, and raise their children. With a deeper understanding of the “why” behind poor outcomes, we can better target policies and interventions to mothers who need them most. Explore the six MVI themes of vulnerability below.
Socioeconomic determinants of health include educational attainment, poverty and food insecurity, and social support.
Although some regions of the United States have low overall maternal vulnerability, this can obscure large inequities:
In any region of the US, White women are consistently more likely than Black or American Indian/Alaska Native women to live in areas that are conducive to good maternal health.
Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women are 2-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes in the US than White women.
Structural racism impacts maternal vulnerability as well: Nationally, Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women face vulnerability scores 10-12 points higher than those of their White counterparts.
There are significant differences in vulnerability for women of color across regions, with the South having by far the highest levels of vulnerability. Racial inequity in vulnerability differs across regions too. For example, although there is inequity between Black and White maternal mortality rates in all regions, the largest gap between White women and Black women is in the Midwest.
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