Death care costs are getting more expensive. . .and in Hawaii you will pay the most



Great Britain’s Daily Mail recently produced this article entitled “The True cost of dying in America“.  The article is a little light on methodology so I don’t know exactly how to take it, but it did point to research done by an online pharmacy company named NowPatient which compared a lot of consumer categories. . .of which funeral costs were one of.


I’m not going to try to analyze the methodology but I am going to report on how they rated states as to the costs to die in. For instance, NowPatient rated the state of Hawaii as the most expensive locale to host a funeral with an average cost to the consumer of $15,203.  The note about Hawaii is that the cost of land for burial is very expensive which pushes up the average cost.

Rounding out the top five in funeral costs are the following:

  • California – $10,727
  • Oregon – $10,424
  • New York – $10,355
  • Massachusetts – $10,270


On the other end of the spectrum, NowPatient says that the least expensive place to hold a funeral in America is in the state of Mississippi with a state average funeral cost of $6,568.


The article also makes this comment, “Since the pandemic, the cost of dying in America has radically increased.”  To back up that statement they state that the recent price study by NFDA has indicated that the average funeral in America is now $7,848 as compared to a pre-pandemic cost which they say was 6.6% less.


Finally, the article posits that more Americans are being cremated because of the rising cost of funerals.  Again they quote the NFDA survey which they say indicates that 54.4%  “of respondents cited cost effectiveness as the main reason for choosing cremation”.


Here are the results of the data compiled by NowPatient.


Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

Funeral Director Daily take:  It’s difficult for me to really rely on these type of articles where more data is not present to make the case.  However, I wrote this article today to show how the consumer gets much of their information on death care costs.


For instance, “Do we know if it is simply cost, as the article intimates, that drives consumers to cremation?”.  Or, is it more than likely a combination of convenience, dropping church membership, cost, and even other variables that enter into that consumer decision?  I would argue that there are a great many variables. . . of which cost is only one of them.


I also wonder what will happen with consumers if funeral homes are more price transparent on their websites.  Many a funeral home owner has worried about this thought for the last ten years or so.  Will it make much difference?


I don’t really know where I stand on that issue, but I have started to lean towards including pricing on a website. . even if not required.  I think consumers want to know and if they can find reliable information on our funeral home websites, they will not be Googling “funeral prices” and getting incomplete, poorly researched, or arbitrary articles that may be doing a dis-service to your business.


More news from the world of Death Care:


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