While the Millennium Development Goals were silent on the issue of equity, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require an explicit commitment to underserved and excluded population groups.
Growing numbers of countries now have repeated surveys that allow for analysis of trends in health service coverage, especially disaggregated by the poorest and richest quintiles. Recent research suggests that persistent gaps between rich and poor mothers and children are narrowing. Nevertheless, equity in access to essential services remains a challenge for all countries to achieve.


number of countries that account for more than 90 percent of the world’s maternal, newborn, and child deaths

All data on this page represents the most recent data available, unless otherwise noted. Please visit our Newborn Numbers page and download the Excel spreadsheet to explore the data further.

Key equity resources