107 NL residents drowned last year; Half of victims over 60
Last year 107 Netherlands residents drowned, 31 more than in 2019. There were also 30 non-residents who drowned in Dutch waters, Statistics Netherlands reported. More than half of the victims were over the age of 60.
The number of male Netherlands residents who drowned increased from 64 in 2019 to 85 in 2020. Among women, drowning victims increased from 12 to 22. The 107 drownings last year was well above the 87 average of the last 20 years.
In the period 2011 to 2020, 70 percent of drownings happened in open water - a river, canal, lake, pond or sea. Over 20 percent happened in around the house. Among young children, 40 percent of drownings happened in and around the house.
The number of drownings in the Netherlands decreased significantly since 1950. In the fifties, between 400 and 500 Netherlands residents drowned per year. Since the early nineties, that number has fluctuated between 70 and 115. The number of drownings among young children decreased in particular. In 1950, a total of 226 kids under the age of 10 drowned, 197 boys and 69 girls. Over the past ten years, an average of 7 young children drowned per year, mostly boys.
In the past two years, the number of drowning victims over the age of 60 increased. Over the past ten years, an average of 45 percent of victims were aged 60 or older. In the past two years, it was more than half. The stats office did not say why this may be.
In all age groups, the number of drownings was relatively high among first- and second generation immigrants with a non-Western background, the stats office said. The largest differences were among children under 10 and teens up to the age of 20. Children and young people with a non-Western background were four times more likely to drown than other population groups in the period from 2016 to 2020.