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Statistics

All data published on NFDA.org is based on the latest available government, industry, and research reports; data is updated as new information becomes available. The data on this page was last updated on April 12, 2013.


Funeral Service Facts

  • Employment of funeral service workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022.2
    • As of 2012, it was estimated that there are 32,800 funeral directors in the U.S.2
    • In 2009, national employment estimate for embalmers was 8,190.2
  • Funeral home/funeral home combined with crematories revenue is estimated to grow to $16.2 billion in 2014. Revenue has increased 5.2% per year between 2011 and 2013.1
  • Number of U.S. funeral homes according to the National Directory of Morticians Redbook:
      • 2013: 19,486 2008: 20,915 2003: 21,710
  • Approximately, 86% of funeral homes in the United States are privately owned by families, individuals or closely-held companies. The remaining 14% are owned by publicly traded corporations.
  • The average NFDA-member funeral home handles 113 calls per year and has three full-time and four part-time employees.

Sources:

  1. IBISWorld Industry Risk Rating Report 81221 (Funeral Homes in the US, March 2014)
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


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2012 Funeral Costs

Since the 1960s, NFDA has calculated the median cost of a funeral by totaling the costs of the items listed in the chart below. The cost does not take into account cemetery, monument or marker costs, crematory fees (if cremation is selected), or cash-advance items, such as flowers and obituaries.

The national median cost of a funeral for calendar year 2012 was $7,045. If a vault is included, something that is typically required by a cemetery, the median cost is $8,343.

Item Price
Non-declinable basic services fee $1,975
Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home $285
Embalming $695
Other preparation of the body $225
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $400
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $495
Use of a hearse $295
Use of a service car/van $130
Basic memorial printed package $150
Metal Casket $2,395
MEDIAN COST OF A FUNERAL $7,045
Vault $1,298
Total Cost of a Funeral with Vault
$8,343


Cost of an Adult Funeral: 1960 - Present

Year Cost of an Adult Funeral
1960 $708
1965 $790
1971 $983
1975 $1285
1980 $1809
1985 $2737
1991 $3742
1995 $4626
2000 $5180
2006 $6195
2009 $6,560
2012 $7,045

Source: NFDA General Price List Survey. (Note: This survey is not conducted annually.

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Cremation Facts

  • 2012 U.S. Cremation Rate: 43.2%
    • 2011: 42.0%
    • 2010: 40.6%
    • 2009: 38.15%
    • 2008: 36.22%
    • 2007: 34.60%
    • 2006: 33.87%
    • 2005: 32.13%
    • 2000: 26.17%
    • 1995: 21.11%
    • 1990: 17.13%
    • 1985: 13.86%
    • 1980: 9.72%
    • 1975: 6.55%
    • 1970: 4.59%
    • 1965: 3.87%
    • 1960: 3.56%
  • 2012 Top 10 U.S. States by Percentage of Deaths Cremated
    1. Nevada: 74.2%
    2. Washington: 72.6%
    3. Oregon: 70.9%
    4. Hawaii: 70.0%
    5. Maine: 69.0%
    6. Montana: 67.7%
    7. New Hampshire: 66.7%
    8. Colorado: 65.5%
    9. Vermont: 65.0%
    10. Wyoming: 63.4%
  • 2012 Bottom 10 U.S. States by Percentage of Deaths Cremated 
    1. Mississippi: 16.9%
    2. Alabama: 19.8%
    3. Kentucky: 22.4%
    4. Louisiana: 22.7%
    5. West Virginia: 26.1%
    6. Utah: 27.5%
    7. Arkansas: 29.5%
    8. Indiana: 30.3%
    9. Georgia: 31.1%
    10. Tennessee: 31.7%
  • Projected 2017 U.S. Cremation Rate: 48.8%

Source: Cremation Association of North America

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Death Rate

U.S. death rates (annual deaths per 1,000 population)

Year Annual Deaths per 1,000 Population  
2000 8.5 Final Data
2001 8.5
2002 8.5
2003 8.3
2004 8.2
2005 8.3
2006 8.1
2007 8.0
2008 8.1
2009 7.9
2010 7.9
2011 8.1 Provisional Data
2012 8.3
2016-2020 8.4 Projected Data
2025 8.6
2030 8.9
2035 9.3
2040 9.6
2045-2050 9.7


Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statists-Vital Statistics of the United States; National Vital Statistics Reports; U.S. Census Bureau.

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