As we do each month, it is time to explore the U.S. drowning stats for April 2021. While the numbers on these charts and maps may seem significantly worse than last year’s numbers, there are some valid reasons for this. Join us for a closer look.

U.S. Drowning Stats for April 2021

Our regular readers know that every month, we share detailed charts and maps brought to us by Total Aquatic Programming. These numbers allow us to take a bird’s eye view of the country’s drowning trends and assess the risks of drowning danger. These dangers can vary by age, but also by location and time of year.

There are many factors that go into these statistics, but at a glance they can provide important information about potential hazards that swimmers are facing. As always, we will be comparing the most recent month with that same month from each of the past 11 years.

Using this data, water safety experts are able to track trends and certain patterns of behavior. Total Aquatic Programming’s data tracks more than 15 separate items from every drowning that occurs throughout the country.

These items include, but are not limited to:

  • date
  • state
  • city
  • county
  • age and gender of the victim
  • ethnicity, if recorded
  • body of water in which the drowning occurred
  • and several other circumstances that can help to provide some guidance in the prevention of future drownings.

Chart: Drowning Statistics for April 2009-2021

First and foremost, it is easy to see that the drowning stats for April 2021 do not paint a particularly pretty picture. While last month wasn’t the worst April on record, it certainly a higher number than we want to see. With 120 total deaths, it is genuinely hard to call this a win for following proper swimming safety procedures and guidelines.

Drowning Stats for April 2021

Granted, this year’s total number is better than April 2020… but most of us will agree that 2020 was not a typical year. Depending on where people live, the COVID-19 restrictions likely had a very powerful affect on people’s desire to go swimming.

Drowning graph for April 2009-2021

Instead, let’s take a look at 2019 and before. As you can see, the numbers in certain age categories vary wildly. For example, the number of adult drownings from year to year seem to swing wildly back and forth. It’s hard to gauge exactly why this is be the case, but it could have something to do with weather. Certain spring seasons are simply warmer than others and that can affect people’s willingness to get into the water.

When it comes to the drowning stats for April 2021, there is also a palpable desperation among many folks to return to some sense of normalcy. This may have contributed to the higher drowning rates as people ignored safety guidelines and found a way to take a dip by any means possible.

Keeping this in mind, no one should ever swim alone or without a lifeguard present. Taking a risk like that can be fatal, as we can see evidenced in this chart.

Understanding The Numbers: Drowning Maps for 2019/2020 

In addition to the March 2021 drowning stats, Total Aquatic Programming has provided us with two additional graphics. The first is a nationwide drowning map for all of 2019. This map identifies “hot spots” of child drowning incidents on a state-by-state basis. Please take a look at the map below. It has been updated to include all drownings that have occurred since July 2019.

Map of the US

Up next is the detailed 2020 map, which takes a closer look at child drownings. Please note that the numbers listed on each state represent the ages of the children involved in these incidents, not the number of children. Each age represents one child. For example, a 12-year-old would be listed on the map as “12.”

2021 Map

The Source of These Drowning Statistics

All of these U.S. Drowning Stats and graphics are brought to us courtesy of Sue and Mick Nelson of Total Aquatic Programming, LLC. USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, also uses this information. If you are interested in learning more about the people behind this data, watch our full Child Safety Source interview with Mick Nelson. Additionally, you can visit Total Aquatic Programming’s official website.