Maternity Care Deserts are Growing in the U.S.

Maternity Care Deserts Map
Maternity Care Deserts Report 2022
Click on the image to access the report

The March of Dimes report, Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S., identifies counties in which access to maternity health care services is limited or absent, either through lack of services or barriers to a woman’s ability to access that care. The report found that 7 million women of childbearing age live in counties with limited or no access to maternity care. Women who live in these areas give birth to 1 in 8 babies (500,000 babies) every year.

More than a third of counties (1,095 counties) across the U.S. are identified as maternity care deserts – counties with no hospital that is staffed appropriately to provide care for pregnant women and no obstetrician/gynecologist or certified nurse midwives to care for them.


  • Areas where there is low or no access affect up to 6.9 million women and almost 500,000 births across the U.S.

  • This includes a five percent increase in counties that have less maternity access since 2020.

  • In maternity care deserts alone, approximately 2.2 million women of childbearing age and almost 150,000 babies are affected.

  • There’s a two percent increase in counties that are maternity care deserts since our 2020 report. That’s 1,119 counties and an additional 15,933 women with no maternity care.

  • Florida had the most women impacted by improvements to maternity care access (more than 92,000).

  • Ohio had the most women impacted by overall reductions in access to care (over 97,000).

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