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NFDA Releases Results of 2015 Member General Price List Survey

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) released the results of its latest Member General Price List Study in October, which includes the median cost of a funeral with burial. For the first time, the report includes a calculation of the median cost of a funeral with cremation.

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 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.

Survey methodology
A paper-based survey was mailed to 5,829 NFDA-member funeral home owners on June 19, 2015, to gather General Price List and other related data for the calendar year ending December 31, 2014. For the first time, members had the option of completing the survey online. A link to complete the survey was posted for three consecutive weeks in the NFDA Bulletin (electronic newsletter), and a reminder to complete the survey was emailed to all main contacts with a valid email address.

Of the potential respondents, a total of 1,046 members anonymously completed the survey (859 via mail and 187 online), which accurately reflects NFDA’s total membership (with 95% confidence) within a range of +2.8%. Funeral professionals interested in purchasing a copy of the survey report should call NFDA at 800-228-6332 or visit www.nfda.org/resourcestore. The survey report is $75 for members of NFDA and $175 for nonmembers.