Skip to main content

Drowning deaths in Denmark in 2019 and 2020 - and the development 1970-2020

Since 2009, the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, has conducted drowning statistics describing the incidence and nature of drowning deaths in Denmark. The reports have been published annually, with the exception of 2021 due to limitations on access to 2019 data in connection with COVID-19. This report is therefore an update of drowning deaths for both 2019 and 2020. The vast majority of drowning deaths in Denmark are due to accidents that can be prevented. The annual drowning statistics are thus an important tool in the work of preventing unintentional fatal drownings in Denmark, as they provide insight into where drowning prevention efforts are necessary.



The aim of the report is to describe the extent and causes of drowning deaths due to accident, suicide, homicide or indefinite manner of death. The report is a follow-up to the previous reports "Drowning deaths in Denmark", which have been published annually since 2009.


The purpose of this year's drowning statistics is to describe:


  • Characteristics of drowning deaths in 2019 and 2020 compared with previous years.
  • The extent and circumstances of drowning deaths in Denmark in the period 2001-2020.
  • The development in drowning deaths among Danes drowned in Denmark in the period 1970-2020.
  • Development of unintentional fatal drownings by region in the period 2001-2020.
  • Occurrence and characteristics of unintentional fatal drownings where alcohol and / or drugs have been involved.


The primary focus of the report is unintentional fatal drownings. However, drowning deaths due to suicide, homicide and indefinite death are included in selected sections and tables.



Information on drowning deaths in Denmark is primarily obtained from death certificates on persons who have died due to drowning. The information from the death certificates is supplemented with information from other sources, including TrygFonden's and the Danish Council for Greater Water Safety's press clippings about drowning deaths and from the rescue services' reports via Søsportens Sikkerhedsråd.


Project period

Project period: September 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022


Publication: End of June 2022


Collaboration and funding


Last Updated 19.10.2023