Funeral Industry News

NFDA Releases Results of 2010 General Price List Survey

October 11, 2010

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NFDA Releases Results of 2010 General Price List Survey

imageThe National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) released the results of its 2010 member General Price List (GPL) survey today. The report provides a comprehensive picture of the diversity of costs associated with a funeral, providing data that breaks down services by geographic region, size of firm and size of city/town.

Perhaps the most frequently requested piece of information produced by the survey is the national average cost of a funeral. NFDA calculates the median cost of a funeral by totaling the costs of the following items: non-declinable basic services fee, removal/transfer of remains to funeral home, embalming, other preparation of the body, a metal casket, use of the funeral home and staff for viewing, use of the funeral home and staff for 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 2009 was $6,560. If a vault is included, something which is typically required by a cemetery, that number rises to $7,755. The cost does not take into account cemetery, monument or marker costs, or miscellaneous cash-advance items, such as flowers and obituaries. The cost of a funeral can vary by region; costs can also vary based on a funeral home’s location and the size of the business.

The cost of a funeral this decade (2000?2009) rose 21 percent. Over the 1991?1998 period for which studies were completed, the cost of a funeral increased by 25 percent. The percent increase during the 1980s (1980?1989) was significantly higher at 47 percent, reflecting the high rates of inflation during that decade. Inflation was also higher in the 1990s than in the past decade.

NFDA mailed 3,000 self-administered surveys to member funeral homes in June 2010. The response rate of 21 percent accurately reflects (with 95 percent confidence) NFDA?s total membership within a range of