As we enter a new month, let’s take a closer look at the U.S. drowning stats for May 2021. As it turns out, we had a pretty great May!

U.S. Drowning Stats for May 2021

As with every month, we like to take some time on the Safety Blog to explore the detailed charts and maps presented by Total Aquatic Programming. These charts give us a countrywide-focused view of the past month’s drowning danger trends.

Besides location and age, there are many factors that go into these statistics. Today, 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 May 2009-2021

As we mentioned in our intro, the drowning stats for May 2021 are actually quite promising. This is welcome news, especially since the stats for April 2021 were a bit on the worrying side. April offered higher numbers than many other years, so seeing an improvement a month later really is a relief.

U.S. Drowning Stats for May 2021

In contrast to last month, May 2021 is looking pretty good. So good that it is the lowest May on record, according to the chart. What could be the reason for this? It’s tricky to immediately pin it on any single reason. Perhaps the reason last month’s numbers were so high was because people were so ecstatic about the lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions. Something like that is a unique event that could have led to more reckless behavior.

A month later, it is possible that people are returning to more sensible, more cautious behavior. As the chart illustrates, kids and adults alike have experienced less drowning incidents.

Drowning Graph for May 2021

Now, of course any drownings are bad news, but a bit of hope can be wonderful. With a return to normalcy, perhaps an adjustment period was required. Keeping that in mind, here’s hoping that June 2021 is even better.

Understanding The Numbers: Drowning Maps for 2019/2020 

In addition to the May 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.

2021 Map

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.”

Map of the US

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 to see even more in-depth information about drowning danger and statistics.