Globally maternal deaths are decreasing. The rate at which mothers die during childbirth has been reduced by about 40% since 1980, but this is not enough to meet the Millennium Development goal of reducing maternal mortality 75% from 1990 levels by 2015. However, 23 countries are on track on meet this goal.
Afghanistan is the worst country, with a high death rate and little improvement – 1,575 women die for every 100,000 live births, while Italy has only 4 deaths per 100,000. The figures below showing the global trend, the rate in countries, and changes in the rate are from article by Margaret Hogan and others Maternal mortality for 181 countries, 1980—2008: a systematic analysis of progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5 (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61345-8):