Maternal, infant, and perinatal mortality statistics and trends in Korea between 2009 and 2017

Vital Statistics Division, Statistics Korea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective To provide updates on maternal, infant, and perinatal mortality using the national population data of South Korea between 2009 and 2017 and describe the mortality rate by target groups, timing, or causes of events to provide a basis for detecting vulnerable populations and ensuring timely medical and political interventions. Methods Pregnancy-related mortality in women, as well as deaths of infants, in South Korea was identified using population data from Statistics Korea. Records from death certificates, cremation reports on infant and fetal deaths, and the complementary cause-of-death investigation system were reviewed for the 2009-2017 period. Results A total of 461 maternal deaths, 11,717 infant deaths, and 12,249 perinatal deaths, including fetal deaths over 28 gestational weeks, were identified from 3,945,159 live births between 2009 and 2017. The maternal mortality ratio was 13.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2009 and decreased to 7.8 in 2017. Only the rate of deaths related to hypertensive disorders showed an increasing tendency. Both the infant and perinatal mortality rates improved (from 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009 to 2.8 in 2017 and from 3.5 to 2.7, respectively). Among the external causes of infant mortality, assaults including homicides accounted for 25% (n=150), and this proportion was constant throughout the study period. Conclusion Overall improvements were observed in all maternal, infant, and perinatal mortality measures. In-depth analysis and interventions with respect to certain causes, such as hypertensive disorders in mothers or assaults in infants, should be considered priority issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-630
Number of pages8
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


  • Cause of death
  • Infant mortality
  • Maternal mortality
  • Perinatal mortality
  • South korea


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