In 1990 Canada had the lowest rate of maternal mortality, the death of mothers in childbirth. In 2008, we've fallen to ninth overall. Three things to note: 1. Our numbers are still pretty good compared to the 181 countries assessed. 2. The countries that now occupy the top 8 slots ahead of us made real progress in cutting maternal mortality. 3. Canada's numbers actually worsened slightly over the past two decades.
Italy now claims top spot with just 3.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 deliveries. Canada's numbers increased from 5.7 to 6.6 over this period, placing us in 9th spot. The UK trails us with 8.2 while the United States records 16.7 for 39th place.
At the very bottom, standing 181st, is Afghanistan with 1575.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 deliveries.