Drowning Deaths in Australia, 2021

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Drowning Deaths in Australia.

In 2021 there were 294 fatal drowning incidents, out of the 968 recorded drowning incidents.

75 in rivers and creeks.
66 at beaches.
44 in ocean and harbours.
30 in swimming pools.
27 in lakes and dams.
27 off rocks.
13 in bathtubs or spa baths.
12 other.

Drowning Deaths by State.

99 were in NSW
66 in QLD
61 in Victoria
39 in WA
13 in SA
7 in Tasmania
5 in NT
4 in ACT

Drowning Deaths by Age Group.

25 aged 0-4
14 aged 5-14
35 aged 15-24
151 aged 25-64
69 aged 65 and over.

81% of drowning deaths were Males.

25% of drowning deaths involved alcohol.

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32 deaths involved drugs or medications.


According to Royal Life Saving Australia, approximately one in four drowning deaths (about 25%) in Australia is a person who is born overseas.


According to the ABS, the 2016 Census of Population and Housing showed that more than a quarter (26%) of Australia’s population (6,163,667 people) were born overseas, that is approximately one in four.

2071.0 – Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia – Stories from the Census, 2016


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