March of Dimes March of Dimes Peristats


Maternity Care Deserts

PeriStats has added new data for maternity care deserts in the U.S. A maternity care desert is any county without a hospital or birth center offering obstetric care and without any obstetric providers. Women may have low access to appropriate preventive, prenatal and postpartum care if they live in counties with few hospitals or birth centers (one or fewer) providing obstetric care, few obstetric providers (fewer than 60 per 10,000 births) or a high proportion of women without health insurance (10 percent or more). Moderate access to care is defined as living in a county with access to few hospitals/ birth centers or OB providers and adequate health insurance coverage (less than 10 percent of women of reproductive age uninsured).

    Data is available at the county level, nationwide, for the following topics:
  • Access to hospitals or birth center offering obstetric care
  • Distribution of obstetric providers*
  • Women (18-64 years) without health insurance
  • Maternity care desert designations
  • Data will be updated annually, or as available. Access the full March of Dimes report here.

    * Maternity care providers include obstetricians, certified nurse-midwives/certified midwives (CNM/CM), and family physicians.