Latest Funeral Statistics and Facts in the USA

Any decision related to making funeral arrangements can be very difficult and emotional too. But as death is the ultimate truth of this world, people must be aware of the latest funeral statistics, facts and trends. 

In the US, all the data related to funeral statistics are based on government, industry, and research reports.

Some useful facts:

  • In the funeral homes based in the US, some 102,877 people were employed in the year 2007.
  • The combined revenue of funeral homes and crematories was $11.95 billion in the year 2007. The figure was $11.05 billion in 2002.
  • In 2008, the total number of funeral directors working in US funeral homes was 25,680, while the number of embalmers was 8,200.
  • According to the National Directory of Morticians Redbook, the total number of funeral homes in the US in 2010 was 19,902.
  • In 2008, 71% of total deaths occurred in the US were casketed as per the report made by the Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America. While in 2003 the percentage was 76% and in 1998, it was 79%.

Some statistics related to annual U.S. death rate as per 1,000 populations:

  • In the year 2000 the annual death rate was 8.5
  • In the year 2005 the annual death rate was 8.3
  • In the year 2006 the annual death rate was 8.0
  • In the year 2007 the annual death rate was 8.0
  • In the year 2008 the annual death rate was 8.1
  • In the year 2009 the annual death rate was 7.9

Also it has been estimated that from 2010 to 2016, the annual death rate will be 8.3 and from 2017-2020 it will be 8.4. Looking at the current trend, it has also been estimated that by 2025 the annual death rate will be 8.6, by 2040 it will be 9.6 and by 2050 it will be 9.7.

Some facts related to cremation in the US:

In the year 2008, the cremation rate was 36.02%, while in 1998, the rate was 24.10%. List of top 10 U.S. States in the year 2008 by Percentage of Deaths Cremated are Nevada (69.48%), Hawaii (68.01%), Oregon (67.92%), Washington (67.62%), Arizona (64.75%), Montana (63.31%), Maine (60.03%), Colorado (59.77%), Vermont (59.06%) and New Hampshire (58.21%).

In the U.S. States such as Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas, the percentage of deaths cremated was very low. It is estimated that cremated rate will be 46.04% by 2015 and 58.85% by 2025.

The overall expense of a funeral of an adult in the year 2009 without the casket was $4,265. The breakdown of the total cost is as follows:

  • Non-declinable basic services fee – $1,817
  • Transfer of remains to funeral home – $250
  • Embalming – $628
  • Other preparation of the body – $200
  • Use of facilities for viewing – $395
  • Use of facilities for funeral ceremony – $450
  • Use of a hearse – $275
  • Use of a service car – $125
  • Basic memorial printed package – $125

If the price of a metal casket is also included, the average cost of the funeral becomes $6,560.

Also if the funeral is planned with the vault, the total cost becomes $7,755.

Note: The cost of the funeral is calculated with only the basic items. The cost does not include the fees of cemetery, or any other cash advance charges made by the funeral home in order to buy funeral flowers or to prepare the obituaries.

Some statistics related to the cost of a funeral of an adult:

  • In the year 1960, the cost of an adult funeral was $708
  • In the year 1965, the cost of an adult funeral was $790
  • In the year 1971, the cost of an adult funeral was $983
  • In the year 1975, the cost of an adult funeral was $1285
  • In the year 1980, the cost of an adult funeral was $1809
  • In the year 1985, the cost of an adult funeral was $2737
  • In the year 1991, the cost of an adult funeral was $3742
  • In the year 1995, the cost of an adult funeral was $4626
  • In the year 2000, the cost of an adult funeral was $5180
  • In the year 2006, the cost of an adult funeral was $6195
  • In the year 2009, the cost of an adult funeral was $6,560
  • In the year 2010, the cost of an adult funeral was $10,000

Some new funeral service trends in the US:

  • Today as more and more people are planning funeral services that are as unique as the person who died. In everything required in a funeral, people are trying to give it a personal touch.
  • Advance funeral planning where a person selects the funeral homes, make financial arrangements and tell others about his wishes.
  • Cremation is on the rise in the US. In 2007, cremation accounted for 34.89 percent of final dispositions in the United States and the percentage will rise more in coming years. So, when it comes to burial versus cremation, people are changing the old tradition.
  • Funeral homes have their website which allows the consumers to do their research very first and can even plan a funeral within minutes.
  • Attitudes toward death and funerals are changing as people are thinking about their environment as well. Due to the rise of eco-consciousness amongst people, green funeral choices are also becoming popular in the U.S.

To conclude, with the above mentioned funeral statistics and trends it is clear that the funeral industry is changing and as an informed consumer you need to make any decision related to funeral after proper analysis.

Some useful resources:

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