This has been made public by the National Association of Funeral Services (Panasef), which on the occasion of All Saints Day has presented an advance of the sectorial data after a health crisis that has affected this business so much.
The radiography analyzes the data for 2020, in which 492,930 deaths occurred in Spain, 17.73% more than in the previous year, in which 417,625 people died.
But the pandemic has not affected all autonomous communities equally. The largest increases in deaths occurred in Madrid, followed by Castilla-La Mancha (32.33%), Castilla León (25.97%) and Catalonia (23.35%). The regions that have been affected to a lesser extent have been the Canary Islands (4.19%), Galicia (4.97%), Murcia (5.78%) and the Balearic Islands (7.09%).
The average number of deaths in Spain in 2020 was 1,350 people per day. In contrast, during the first months of the pandemic the average number of deaths rose to 500% in cities such as the capital of Spain. In the entire Madrid region, 66,583 died last year, compared to 47,165 in 2019.
As of January 1, the accumulated death toll from the pandemic in the Community of Madrid was 19,515. Mortuary Health has recorded 4,978 deaths in health centers, 13,337 in hospitals, 1,170 in homes and 30 in other places. The Ministry of Health lowered that figure to 11,828.
In absolute numbers, the highest number of deaths in 2020 (not only from coronavirus) was registered, with 79,685, and in Andalusia, 78,160. But in Andalusia, the most populated community in Spain, the increase in mortality last year was 10.8%, half that registered in Catalonia and almost four times less than the increase in Madrid.
The funeral industry, in figures
In relation to cemeteries, Spain has 17,682 cemeteries for 8,126 municipalities and 99% are municipally owned. The funeral sector is made up of about 1,100 public and private companies, which billed 1.7 billion euros in 2020.
The number of funeral homes or wakes is maintained at 2,525 facilities with 7,050 rooms. Andalusia, Catalonia and Castilla Y León are the communities with the highest number.
In addition, Spain has 487 crematorium ovens, compared to 464 the previous year, and is one of the countries in Europe with the largest number of these facilities. The autonomous communities with the highest census of crematoriums are Andalusia (116), Valencia (54), Castilla y León (53) and Madrid (48). They also highlight the heavy investments of funeral homes in filters for emissions to the atmosphere.
This trend is in line with the funeral habits of the Spanish, with an increase in cremations of around 1% in 2020, a trend reinforced by the pandemic. In 2020, total incinerations amounted to 45.54% compared to 54.46% of burials. The percentage of incinerations reaches 60% of the total in provincial capitals, while in rural areas its incidence is lower, 39.8%.
Regarding farewells, the number of families who opt for religious ceremonies increases, 86.4%, compared to 13.6% who prefer a civil ceremony to say goodbye to their loved ones. A data possibly motivated by the pandemic period.
The National Association of Funeral Services has also used All Saints’ Day to pay tribute to the victims of the pandemic and those who died this year. For this, the companies joined on Friday a minute of silence and a floral tribute for the deceased, families and also professionals of the funeral staff.