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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

Since the 1960s, NFDA has calculated the median cost of a funeral by totaling the costs of the items listed in the table 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 Median Cost

Nondeclinable 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

Hearse

$295

Service car/van

$130

Basic memorial printed package
(e.g., memorial cards, register book, etc.)

$150

Metal casket

$2,395

Median Cost of a Funeral with Casket

$7,045

Vault

$1,298

Median Cost of a Funeral with Vault

$8,343

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Rates of Cremation and Burial5

Cremation was the method of disposition for 45.1% in 2013; 48.9% of people were buried in 2013. (Members of the Media: Please contact NFDA for a state-by-state breakdown of the rates of cremation and burial.)

     
Cremation and Burial Projections:

2014 2015 2020 2030
Cremation 46.7% 48.2% 55.8% 70.6%
Burial 47.3% 45.8% 38.1% 23.2%

Historical Cremation Statistics
(2013 data is from the NFDA Cremation and Burial Report; data from 2012 and earlier is from the Cremation Association of North America's annual statistics report)

Year Cremation Rate (%)
2013 45.1
2012 43.2
2011 42.0
2010 40.6
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

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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 June 4, 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 2013 General Price List Survey. National Funeral Directors Association. Brookfield, WI.
  5. NFDA 2014 Cremation and Burial Report. National Funeral Directors Association. Brookfield, WI.