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Statistics

General Funeral Service Facts

Median Cost of an Adult Funeral

Rates of Cremation and Burial

Data Sources
   

Members of the Media: If you have questions about the statistics below, would like additional information or data, or would like to interview an expert, please contact NFDA's Public Relations team.


General Funeral Service Facts

According to the National Directory of Morticians Redbook, the number of funeral homes in the U.S. is:

  • 2015: 19,391
  • 2014: 19,486
  • 2013: 19,624
  • 2012: 19,680
  • 2011: 19,841
  • 2010: 19,902
  • 2009: 20,557
  • 2008: 20,915
  • 2007: 21,080
  • 2006: 21,088
  • 2005: 21,495
  • 2004: 21,528

  
Approximately 86% of funeral homes in the United States are privately owned by families or individuals. The remaining 14% are owned by publicly-traded corporations. (Service Corporation International (SCI) owns approximately 12% and Carriage Services Inc. and StoneMor Partners own approximately 1% each.)2

  • 98% of NFDA-member funeral homes are owned by individuals, families, or closely held private corporations.

  
The average NFDA-member funeral home handles 113 calls per year and has three full-time and four part-time employees.3

   
NFDA-member Firm Caseload (i.e., number of decedents cared for)3

  • 58.4% of NFDA members handled 150 cases or less; 24.5% reported 151-350 cases; 8.6% reported 351-500 cases; 5.2% reported 501-1000; 3.3% reported 1001 or more.
      
1997 2002 2007 2012
Revenue1
($ Millions)
Cemeteries and
Crematories
$2,988 $3,231 $3,350 $3,319
Funeral Homes and
Funeral Services
$9,633 $11,049 $11,943 $13,004
TOTAL $12,621 $14,280 $15,293 $16,323
Employment1
Cemeteries and
Crematories
59,458 41,932 35,035 32,617
Funeral Homes and
Funeral Servcies
105,365 106,263 102,978 108,385
TOTAL 164,823 148,195 138,013 141,002

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Median Cost of an Adult Funeral4

  • Funeral Professionals: Contact our member services department (800-228-6332) to purchase a copy of the report from the 2015 General Price List Survey; the report can also be purchased online
  • Members of the Media: Please contact NFDA for a regional breakdown of the cost of a funeral with burial and funeral with cremation and further information about the 2015 General Price List Survey.

Median Cost of a Funeral With Burial

Since the 1960s, NFDA has calculated the median cost of a funeral with burial by totaling the costs of the following items: basic services fee, removal/transfer of remains to funeral home, embalming and other preparation of the body (casketing, cosmetology, dressing and grooming), a metal casket, use of facilities and staff for viewing and a funeral ceremony, use of a hearse, use of a service car/van, and a basic memorial printed package (e.g., memorial cards, register book, etc.).

The national median cost of a funeral for calendar year 2014 was $7,181. If a vault is included, something that is typically required by a cemetery, the median cost is $8,508. The cost does not take into account cemetery, monument or marker costs or miscellaneous cash-advance charges, such as for flowers or an obituary.

Over the past decade, the median cost of an adult funeral in the United States has increased 28.6 percent. This is similar to the 2000-2009 period when the median cost of a funeral increased by 26.6 percent. The percent increase during the 1980s (1980-1989) was significantly higher (87 percent), reflecting the significantly higher inflation rates during that decade.

National Median Cost of an Adult Funeral with Viewing and Burial: 2004 vs. 2014

Item

2014*

2004*

% Change

Nondeclinable basic services fee

$2,000

$1,460

37.0%

Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home

$310

$195

59.0%

Embalming

$695

$498

39.6%

Other preparation of the body

$250

$174

42.9%

Use of facilities/staff for viewing

$420

$339

23.9%

Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony

$495

$395

25.3%

Hearse

$318

$225

41.1%

Service car/van

$143

$100

42.5%

Basic memorial printed package

$155

$95

63.2%

Metal casket

$2,395

$2,100

14.0%

Median Cost of a Funeral With Viewing and Burial

$7,181

$5,582

28.6%

Vault

$1,327

$998

33.0%

Total with vault

$8,508

$6,580

29.3%

2004 prices have not been adjusted for inflation.

* Median Price – The amount at which half of the figures fall below and half are above.

National Median Cost of a Funeral With Cremation

The national median cost of a cremation in 2014 was $6,078. NFDA calculated the median cost of a cost of an adult funeral with cremation by totaling the costs of the following items: basic services fee, removal/transfer of remains to funeral home, embalming and other preparation of the body, use of facilities and staff for viewing and a funeral ceremony, use of a service car/van, basic memorial printed package, cremation fee, cremation casket and urn. The cost does not take into account vault, cemetery monument/marker costs or other miscellaneous cash advance charges.

National Median Cost of an Adult Funeral with Viewing and Cremation

Item

2014*

Nondeclinable basic services fee

$2,000

Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home

$310

Embalming

$695

Other preparation of the body

$250

Use of facilities/staff for viewing

$420

Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony

$495

Service car/van

$143

Basic memorial printed package

$155

Cremation fee (if firm uses a third-party)**

$330

Cremation casket

$1,000

Urn

$280

Median Cost of a Funeral with Viewing and Cremation

$6,078

* Median Price – The amount at which half of the figures fall below and half are above.

**65% of respondents use a third-party crematory (i.e., the funeral home does not own a crematory)

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Rates of Cremation and Burial5

Cremation was the method of disposition for 45.4 in 2013; 48.7% of people were buried in 2013.

     
Historic Rates of Cremation and Burial and Future Projections:

2005

final

2010

final

2013

final

2014

projected

2015

projected

2020

projected

2030

projected

Cremation
32.3% 40.4% 45.4% 46.7% 48.5% 56.2% 71.0%
Burial
61.4% 53.3% 48.7% 47.3% 45.6% 37.9% 23.2%

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All data published on this page 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 July 30, 2015.

Sources:

  1. U.S. Census Bureau Economic Census (conducted every five years):
    1. Cemeteries and Crematories: http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/TheDataWeb_HotReport2/econsnapshot/2012/snapshot.hrml?NAICS=812220
    2. Funeral Homes and Funeral Services: http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/TheDataWeb_HotReport2/econsnapshot/2012/snapshot.hrml?NAICS=812210
  2. Lerman, S. (December 2014). IBISWorld Industry Report 81221 Funeral Homes in the U.S. IBISWorld.
  3. 2014 NFDA Member Needs and Satisfaction Survey, July 2014
  4. NFDA 2015 General Price List Survey. National Funeral Directors Association. Brookfield, WI.
  5. NFDA 2015 Cremation and Burial Report. National Funeral Directors Association. Brookfield, WI.