Claim: Cremations and burial rates are no higher than normal
Verdict: This is not correct. Across the UK, there was a sharp increase in cremations in 2020.
Over recent months, people have been sharing data from Freedom of Information Requests (FOIs) about cremations and burials in different local authorities across the UK.
They claim the figures are no higher than in previous years and question whether there are really any excess Covid deaths.
One widely shared example looks at data released by Birmingham City Council.
The council told us the figures initially provided in response to FOIs were wrong because of a glitch in the reporting process.
These suggested the 2020 figure was the lowest in the last six years.
But according to the corrected data, there were 8,316 burials and cremations in 2020, more than the previous year and just about the highest since 2009 (the earliest data available).
We looked at the national picture on cremations, using figures from a charity which collects this data.
The Cremation Society has counted 70,000 more cremations in 2020 than in 2019.
We looked but couldn’t find national burial figures.
We also know that there have been more than 115,000 excess deaths – over and above the usual number at the time of year – in the UK since the outbreak began. – BCC