Research has revealed that racial or ethnic minorities historically drown at higher rates than the general population. Current research still has not identified or exposed fully the risk factors experienced by these groups that account for this disparity. By employing a review of the literature approach typical of the methods used in the humanities, the present article identifies many of the factors that explain this difference (e.g. age, sex, location, access, supervision, swimming lessons, and communication) and suggests future research that would help to illuminate the detailed circumstances that account for this ethnic gap in drowning rates (e.g. drowning -related research that takes race and ethnicity into account more consistently).