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Who Buys Source

According to research by the Cremation Association of North America, consumers with higher levels of income and education typically have higher rates of cremation. Asian populations also have higher cremation rates, while African-Americans cremate at a lower rate.

Cremation Association of North America, 2011

When They Buy Source

While most funeral services are held in the morning or afternoon, some families are now choosing to have services conducted in the evening hours for the convenience of family and friends.

International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, 2012


How They Buy Source

The Federal Trade Commission mandates that all of a funeral home's charges for professional services be itemized, printed on a general price list and made available to the public by phone, mail or in person. Consumers have the right to select and pay for only those services they choose to utilize.

International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, 2012

Methods of pre-paying for a funeral: A regulated trust can be established by a licensed funeral director; a life insurance policy can be purchased, equal to the value of the funeral; individuals can establish a savings or certificate of deposit account earmarked for funeral expenses (the account can be designated as "payable on death" to the funeral home).

National Funeral Directors Association, 2012

The average cost of a funeral in the U.S. in 2009 (most current information available) was $6,560 (up from $6,195 in 2006 and $5,180 in 2000). These costs reflect the average prices for a non-declinable basic services fee, removal/transfer of remains to a funeral home, embalming, other preparation of the body, use of facilities/staff for viewing, use of facilities/staff for a ceremony at the funeral home, a hearse and service car/van, basic memorial printed package, and a metal casket. The cost does not include an outer burial container, cemetary, monument or marker costs, or miscellaneous cash advance charges such as flowers or obituaries.

National Funeral Directors Association, 2011

Average costs for commonly selected funeral services in 2009 (most current year available), with change from 2004 in parentheses: non-declinable basic services fee, $1,817 (+24.5%); embalming, $628 (+26.1%); other preparations (cosmetology, hair, etc.), $200 (+14.3%); use of faciities/staff for viewing, $395 (+16.5%); use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony, $450 (+13.9%); transfer of remains to funeral home, $250 (+28.2%); hearse, $275 (+22.2%); service car/van, $125 (+25.0%); basic memorial printed package, $125 (+31.6%).

National Funeral Directors Association, 2011

The average price for a metal burial casket in 2009 (most current year available) was $2,295 (up 9.3% from 2004), while the average price of a vault was $1,195 (19.7% higher than 2004).

National Funeral Directors Association, 2011

Based on a 2011 study by the National Cremation Research Council, the average cost of a cremation is $1,080.

National Cremation Research Council, 2011

A grave space, a grave marker, and opening/closing the grave can easily add $1,500-$2,500 to the cost of a funeral/burial.

Funeralwise.com, 2011

What They Buy Source

Most burial caskets are made of either wood or metal. Metal caskets are made of either bronze, copper, steel or stainless steel. Wood caskets are available in a variety of types of wood. Interiors of caskets are usually made with velvet or crepe; however, other materials may be available.

International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, 2012

Duties provided by funeral directors: Provide support to the bereaved during the intial stages of their greif; arrange and direct funeral ceremonies; arrange for removal of the deceased from the place of death; prepare the body according to the wishes of the survivors and requirements of the law; secure information for legal documents; file death certificates and other legal papers; assist survivors with details for filing claims for death benefits; provide post-death counseling.

National Funeral Directors Association, 2012

Cemeteries are usually divided into two broad categories: Traditional cemeteries and memorial parks or gardens. A traditional cemetery includes upright monuments and private mausoleums. Memorial parks and gardens are cemeteries without tombstones, where bronze memorials are placed level with the ground to blend with the beauty of the landscape.

International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, 2012

Where They Buy Source

Service Corporation International is the largest funeral service company in North America, with more than 1,400 funeral homes and 380 cemeteries in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Germany. In addition to services such as embalmment, burial and cremation, the company also sells prearranged funeral services, caskets, burial vaults, cremation receptacles and burial garments. In 2010, SCI acquired Keystone North America, the fifth-largest provider of death care products and services with approximately 200 funeral homes and 15 cemetaries. Cremations account for approximately 42% of SCI's business. Revenues of Service Corporation International totaled $2.320 billion in 2011, up 5.7% from the prior year.

 

Hoover's, 2012

Stewart Enterprises is the No. 2 provider of funeral services in North America, with more than 220 funeral homes and some 140 cemeteries in 25 states and Puerto Rico. It offers funeral prearrangement, cremation, family consultation, sales of caskets and flowers, preparation of remains, use of funeral home facilities for visitation and worship, and transportation. Stewart's 2011 sales amounted to $513 million, a 2.6% decrease from 2010.

Hoover's, 2012

Two other large funeral service providers are Carriage Services, Inc., with about 160 funeral homes and 30 cemetaries, and StoneMor Partners, with approximately 60 funeral homes and more than 225 cemetaries. Sales in 2010 for Carriage Services were $185 million (up 4.1% from 2009), while StoneMor Partners' 2010 revenues totaled $197 million, an 8.9% increase from the previous year.

Hoover's, 2012

Burial casket sales are dominated by three major manufacturers -- #1 Batesville Casket, #2 The York Group and #3 Aurora Casket Company. The nation's leading maker of cremation urns, bronze memorials and commemorative products is Matthews International Corporation, which also owns The York Group.
 

Hoover's, 2012

States with the highest estimated cremation rates in 2009: Nevada, 73.9%; Washington, 69.6%; Oregon, 69.2%; Hawaii, 68.8%; Vermont, 65.7%; Arizona, 65.6%; Montana, 64.8%; Maine, 62.8%; Colorado, 62.0%; Wyoming, 61.8%. States with the lowest estimated cremation rates for 2009: Mississippi, 11.9%; Georgia, 13.6%; Kentucky, 14.8%; Alabama, 15.4%; Louisiana, 19.5%; West Virginia, 20.8%; Tennessee, 22.9%; South Dakota, 23.9%; Indiana, 24.5%; Arkansas, 25.5%.

Cremation Association of North America, 2011

According to a survey by FuneralTips.com, around 80% of families choose to use the same funeral home again when the need arises.

FuneralTips.com, 2011

Business Trends Source

According to a study by IBISWorld, falling per capita income during the recession and a rising number of inexpensive cremations hampered funeral home industry revenue from 2006-2011. Additionally, cost-conscious families turned to discount retailers and manufacturers to purchase caskets, further depressing revenue for funeral home operators. However, the industry's revenue is projected to improve slightly through 2016, as an increasing percentage of the nation's population enters into the upper age bracket.

IBISWorld, 2012

The U.S. funeral services industry includes approximately 21,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) that generate about $15 billion of annual revenue from the operation of funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries. The industry is fragmented, with the 50 largest companies accounting for around 25% of industry revenue.

Hoover's, 2012

The typical funeral home in the U.S. performs an average of 120 funerals and 150 burials each year.

Hoover's, 2012

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, 57% of today's mortuary science students in the U.S. are women.

National Funeral Directors Association, 2012

The Cremation Association of North America estimated that 40.6% of all deaths in the U.S. resulted in cremation in 2010, up from 38.1% in 2009 and 36.2% in 2008. The CANA projects that the cremation rate will rise to 46.6% by 2015. 

Cremation Association of North America, 2011

Misc Source

Each state has its own licensing regulations governing entry as a funeral director. Most require a combination of postsecondary education (typically an Associate Degree in Funeral Service Education), passage of the National Board Examination, and service as an apprentice for one or two years.

American Board of Funeral Service Education, 2012

The average funeral home has been in business for 59 years.

FuneralTips.com, 2011