Let’s take a look at the U.S. Drowning Stats for November 2020. As the coldest time of the year approaches, a lot of folks are staying away from the water. Typically, this means fewer drowning deaths than in previous Novembers. Did that hold true for 2020?

Join us for a closer look.

U.S. Drowning Stats for November 2020

Each month, we’re happy to share statistics and maps that are provided by Total Aquatic Programming. This month, as much as ever before, this information is invaluable to Life Saver Pool Fence blog readers. These numbers explore 11 years of drowning stats, going back to 2009.

These U.S. drowning stats aim to draw our attention to key water safety problem areas. Are more children drowning? Even in colder climates? How does this compare to previous years? When discussing water safety, it pays to have all the facts.

To this end, 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 sex of the victim
  • ethnicity, if recorded
  • body of water in which the drowning ocurred
  • and several other circumstances that can help to provide some guidance in the prevention of future drownings.

Through careful examination of both the chart and graphs, we can notice patterns in drowning cases from month to month and from year to year. This helps to provide insights for water safety measures that need some extra attention. To get started, let’s take a look at the chart.

Chart: Drowning Stats for November 2009-2020

Drowning Stats for November 2020

This chart focuses on four key age groups and how they are affected by drowning:

  • Children aged four and younger
  • Children aged 12 and under
  • Teenagers
  • Adults, meaning anyone older than teens

In November 2020, our overall numbers stayed largely consistent with 2019. As you can see from the earlier years, it’s rare to have two years so close in numbers. While the numbers for November 2020 aren’t the best results, it does show progress. By far, the worst November was 2012, when a high of 86 drowning deaths were recorded.

November 2020 line graph

Of course, we can’t discount both cold weather and the COVID-19 pandemic as factors that lead this year’s numbers. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it is safe to swim during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have chosen to either close their pool early or simply stay inside. This, combined with chillier temperatures, may have worked together to limit the number of drownings.

Understanding The Numbers: Drowning Maps for 2019/2020

In addition to the drowning stats for November 2020, 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 occurred since July 2019.


Up next is the detailed 2020 map that takes a closer look at child drownings. Please note that the numbers inside each state on this map represent the ages of the children involved in these incidents, not the number of children. Each age represents one child. So, if a child was 10-11-12 years old, their age is underlined.  For example, a 12-year-old would be listed on the map as “12.”


Where Do These Drowning Stats Come From?

As mentioned earlier, these U.S. Drowning Stats and graphics are brought to us courtesy of Sue and Mick Nelson of Total Aquatic Programming, LLC. The national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, USA Swimming, 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.