Delete Facebook vs. Deactivate

Deactivation And Deletion Are Very Different

Deactivation hides your account, but your data is preserved in case you wish to return.

Deletion destroys your Facebook data. As a result you cannot recover it.

You can always backup your data then delete your account.

Here is Facebook's summary of the differences.

Facebook's Interests

A deactivated account allows Facebook to keep your data. You are not adding to it, but it is still valuable to advertisers.

As a result, Facebook encourages account deactivation as opposed to full deletion of your data.