Average Funeral Cost


Nobody likes to think about this but at some point, we will all reach the same final destination. Making preparations for that day, either for yourself or a loved one does involve some financial decisions, as well. We have compiled all the details regarding the average funeral cost, to try and make the burden lighter on mourners.

Average Funeral Cost Stats and Facts

  • In 2019, the average price of a funeral in the US was $7,640.
  • The mean cost of a cremation with viewing is $5,150.
  • Floral arrangements for a funeral start at $29.99 but may exceed $700.
  • The casket is the most expensive part of a funeral and its price typically ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • Funeral prices in Australia start from $4,000.

Average Cost of Funeral Services

Generally, funeral arrangements cost somewhere in the range of $7,000 to $12,000. Included in this price are the viewing and burial, transporting the remains to the funeral home, the average casket cost, embalming, the fee for the basic services offered, and other preparations. Since the 1980s, funeral services cost has been rising. Nowadays, the majority of mourners pay at least $9,000, depending on where the body is buried.

Even the most basic arrangement may ramp up the cost of funeral services pretty high, so in the next segments, you will find a breakdown of all the items and services involved, to know how to better plan ahead.


Average Cost of Funeral and Burial

The National Funeral Directors Association has been gathering statistics regarding prices and other relevant facts since the 1960s. They estimate that the median cost of funeral and burial in 2019 was $7,640 if it also included a viewing beforehand. The average burial cost for those who opt to also get a vault jumps to $9,135, according to their calculations. 

Even as such, these prices do not include the monument or marker costs, account cemetery, and other expenses such as flowers or an obituary that may drive up the cost of burial arrangements even higher. Of course, the price you pay is also highly dependent on the business you choose for the services and the market where they operate. 


Average Cost a Cremation Funeral

Although this practice is popular on its own for those who prefer their remains to be incinerated, it’s not uncommon for those who cannot manage burial expenses to opt for cremation, also.

The National Funeral Directors Association estimated that in 2019, the average cost of cremation and viewing was $5,150. This average includes basic services, the transfer of the body to the funeral home, embalming, other preparations, facilities used for the viewing and ceremony, the use of a service van, and the actual cremation cost.

Although this alternative will lower the funeral service cost, other add-ons may bring it back up, such as a cremation casket or container, or cemetery costs for families that choose to bury their loved one’s cremated remains. 


Average Memorial Service Cost

Besides the average cost of funeral arrangements, another thing mourners might want to plan for is the memorial service. This ceremony is known to alleviate the pain and commemorate the deceased, bringing closure to his close ones. A recent study conducted by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council on adults 45 and over shows that 72% of them thought the services attended were an important part of the healing process. The average memorial service is priced at $925, according to the Cremations Association of America.

(FAMIC; FuneralBasics)

Average Cost of a Casket

Oftentimes the most expensive item added to the average cost of a funeral in the United States, the casket may come in different designs, styles, and materials. The average casket cost stands between $2,000 and $5,000 and it’s usually made out of metal or wood. For those who want to get something more special for their loved ones, casket prices can go to as high as $10,000 or even more.

You should note that you are not obliged to purchase any items from the funeral home you choose. It’s important to know when looking over the cost of a casket as you may save a lot of money by buying one from a third party. 


Average Cost of Funeral Flowers

Flowers, while further exacerbating burial costs, are a nice add-on, either when they are bought by the family or as a token of tribute by attendees. What flowers to send and what etiquette to follow depends highly on your relationship with the deceased and any eventual theme that the family chooses for the service. 

If you opt to go with a basic floral arrangement, expect to add as little as $29.99 to the estimated funeral costs. The most common and affordable sympathy arrangement is the classic peace lily in a basket. For flowers with more elaborate designs, the price generally ranges between $50 and $80. Name floral tributes may go over $100 while a casket spray will add anywhere from $250 to $700 to the funeral service prices. 

(US Funerals)

Average Funeral Cost by State

Although we have previously given some all-around rough estimates of the funeral cost across the US, a more in-depth analysis is required for certain locations with varying prices. For one thing, funeral home costs are not the same from one provider to another and are very different from one state to another.

Average Cost of a Funeral in Texas

When looking over what funeral home services cost in Texas, note that some locations are cheaper than others, the big cities and surrounding areas being especially costlier. This is why a lot of Texans choose to opt for direct cremations, which can be obtained for a price of only up to $1,000.

Note that the law in Texas mandates that all funeral homes must be licensed while the Texas Funeral Service Commission oversees their activities. 

(US Funerals)

Average Funeral Cost in Houston, TX

Data shows that prices for basic services in Houston vary from $1,495 and get up to $6,490. As such, mourners may purchase embalmment services for as little as $875 or as high as $1,595, the latter also being the most common price. 

Funeral costs statistics show that a casket ranges from $150 to $495 while the burial cost may be anywhere from $395 to $1,195. Overall prices stand between $4,325 and $13,405. 


Average Funeral Cost in Austin, TX

In this metro area, expect to pay anywhere between $595 and $4,210 for the direct cremations fee. If you choose the burial option instead, the fees start from $2,352 and go up to $6,890. You can buy a casket in Austin for under $1,000 if you don’t need much from it, but extravagant ones can even reach $30,000. Another thing we should note is that the costs of the basic services do not surpass $3,000.


Average Funeral Cost in California

The cost of a funeral in California generally ranges from $2,770 to $10,000, but may even exceed this amount. Moreover, while direct cremation fees in the Golden State are anywhere between $550 to $3,540, immediate burials cost somewhere around $650-$4,400.

Caskets can be bought cheaply, even for as low as $250, but they may also exceed $20,000 in some cases. Cemetery plots also have a wide range, starting from $400 and going upwards of $20,000.

Since the average funeral cost is only a rough estimate, here are also some local price ranges. For direct cremation, residents of Los Angeles pay $1,560 on average, those of San Diego — $1,560, while those living in San Francisco will have to spend $1,665. For an immediate burial, the prices are $1,785 in Los Angeles, $1,565 in San Diego, and $2,220 in San Francisco. A cremation memorial costs $2,825 in LA, $3,215 in America’s Finest City, and $3,775 in SF.


Average Cost of a Funeral in NY

In New York, funeral arrangements usually fall somewhere around $6,000. Considering that the median income in this state is $64,894, this can be approximately one month’s wage, which unfortunately may prove to be difficult to come up with. 

If you plan on choosing the burial alternative, expect a cost of $6,410. Cremation will require a payment of $3,407. Depending on the method chosen, other costs New Yorkers may have to face are casket ($2,984 on average), transportation via hearse ($325), private viewing ($200), or embalming ($725), to name the most common. 


Average Funeral Cost in NJ

Arranging a final ceremony in New Jersey is relatively expensive, compared to other places in the country. It may cost you anywhere between $4,397 and $13,243 to make all the required payments for a funeral. 

A direct cremation can be priced anywhere in the range of $2,000 to $2,534 while an immediate burial will lend a bill of $2,992 to $4,357. Consequently, the average cost of a cremation with a memorial is $8,055 while full burial services typically require spending $10,550.

Besides the average funeral costs by state, we have also prepared a rundown of costs from different cities in New Jersey. Therefore, in Newark, direct cremation costs are about $3,800, while the average burial costs are $5,250. In Atlantic City, cremation averages $2,350 and burial $2,400, although it can surpass $10,000 if full services are requested. Trenton is the least expensive city, with a direct cremation price of just $1,000 and burial costs of $2,200.


Average Funeral Cost in Ohio

As in any other state, federal law dictates the rules around burial services that are imposed by the FTC. Funeral homes, therefore, are required to present their prices beforehand, over the phone if requested, for example.

When it comes to the actual numbers, mourners in Ohio must pay anywhere from $600 to $4,000 for direct cremation but may need to take out of their pocket much more for a memorial. The average cost of burial arrangements in this state ranges from $1,500 to $2,400, although a full service might as well go over $10,000.


Average Funeral Cost in Florida

Although the prices are rising, the Sunshine State still has some of the lowest overall costs for a funeral, at $6,500. The law from this state dictates that a death certificate must be obtained after a director, physician, or medical professional examines the body. The law from Florida does not require embalming but a body must be refrigerated if the burial or cremation doesn’t take place within 24 hours. 

The cost of a funeral service including burial here is priced between $4,325 and $8,660 while a cremation with memorial costs anywhere from $1,600 to $5,390. 


Average Funeral Cost in North Carolina

Planning for a funeral in North Carolina will reveal costs as low as $895 for direct cremation and may get up as high as $20,000 for full services with burial. The factors that go into the final cost are represented by where the funeral takes place, what items are bought and what services are requested.

For example, embalming has an average price state-wide of $700, and a casket generally costs $4,155. Basic services typically are priced at $2,087 in North Carolina.


Average Cost of a Funeral in Illinois

Funeral expenses in the state can range from $2,770 to $10,000 or more depending on the service you choose. Direct cremation has an average cost of $1,385 while an immediate burial is approximately $1,790 although it may get up to $4,400. For a cremation memorial, you must pay between $1,775 and $5,820. Those who want to get a full service must expect spending anywhere from $2,770 to $10,325.


Average Funeral Cost in Utah

Funeral prices vary widely in Utah’s counties. For example, in Box Elder, the average stands at $7,511 while at the same time in Cache County the prices are $6,318. In the other locations, the prices are: $8,119 in Davis County, $8,157 in Morgan County, $7,722 in Salt Lake County, $6,359 in Utah, and $7,652 in Weber County.

A breakdown of the costs of a funeral on average, in the Beehive State is as follows: $1,783 for basic services, $380 for viewing and visitations, $563 for the funeral ceremony, $331 for transporting the remains. A direct burial is estimated to be around $1,626 while direct cremation is priced at $1,537.


Average Cost of a Funeral in PA

In this state, embalming is not required unless you hold a public viewing but body preservations are needed for individuals that have deceased more than 24 hours beforehand. Expect to pay about $4,142 on average in this state for basic services, $810 for embalming, and $487 for the transportation of remains. 

A direct cremation is priced between $2,425 and $3,225. Those who prefer to go with the burial option may spend anywhere between $2,925 and $3,995.


Funeral Cost FAQ

How much does a funeral cost?

The basic funeral cost is between $7,000 and $12,000. This price includes burial, basic services fees, transportation of the remains, a casket, embalming, and the rest of the preparations needed. Opting for cremation will result in lower costs. 


What is typically the most expensive part of a funeral?

The item with the highest price tag revealed by the funeral cost breakdown is the casket. If you choose one made from wood or metal, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000.


How much do funeral homes mark up caskets?

Since the casket is the largest expense in a funeral, shopping around can reduce costs dramatically. Unfortunately, funeral homes prices sometimes suffer markups of up to 300 or even 500%. Therefore, if a casket is listed as $1,295 it may be available somewhere for $325.


Is it cheaper to cremate or bury someone?

Typical funeral cost breakdowns show that burial is always more expensive than cremation. The average cost of a cremation starts at $1,000 but doesn’t go over $8,000, depending on your location and the services chosen. Average funeral expenses when opting for burial can get up to $9,000 and depend on the items chosen (casket, flowers, headstone, etc.)


How can funeral costs be reduced?

To reduce funeral costs, you may choose to cremate your loved one as it is the cheaper alternative, as opposed to burial. Also, you can buy items from a different retailer than the funeral store, as they generally have high markups.

How much does a burial plot cost?

Generally, a burial plot is priced somewhere in the range of $350 to $5,000. In metropolitan areas, these are more expensive than in the countryside. 


What is the average funeral cost in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, the average price for burial is £4,383 ($6,084), while the cost of cremation is £3,290 ($4,567). There are also many other decisions to take besides the previously mentioned one that will influence the expenses. These consist of the funeral home opted for and other services and items used.


What does an average funeral cost in South Africa?

Costs in South Africa for final arrangements can get pretty high. OECD estimates that South Africans pay 13% of their salary for a funeral, or more specifically R26875 (about $1,900).


What is the average funeral cost in Canada?

Research shows that in Canada, the average burial is priced in the range of $5,000 to $10,000. Cremation has considerably lower costs, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. With such drastic discrepancies, it’s no surprise that cremations have been rising drastically. In 2000, 47.7% of people opted for it, while in 2018, the number jumped to 72.1%.


What is the average funeral cost in Ontario?

In Ontario, the price range for a full-service funeral which also includes burial starts at $1,500 and can get all the way up to $20,000. As anywhere else, personal preferences regarding how the ceremony is conducted will dictate the costs. The typical traditional funeral is approximately $9,000.


How much does a funeral cost in Mexico?

A recent study places the average cost of funeral arrangements in Mexico at 40,000 pesos ($2,018). In this country, the highest expense is represented by transportation, which was quoted at approximately 8,500 pesos ($428,96).


How much does a funeral cost in Italy?

Generally, a funeral in this country will likely bring a bill of at least $9,000. A marker plus opening and closing grave ranges from $1,500 and can even reach $2,500. 


What is the average funeral cost in Australia?

A basic ceremony in the Land Down Under can go down to as little as $4,000 for a simple cremation and a small-scale ceremony with cheap items. However, the costs can also get as high as $15,000 for an extravagant affair with burial and an expensive casket, big floral arrangements, and other services.


The Bottom Line

There is a lot to take into account when going over the average funeral cost, in a time when mourners are going through a lot already. We hope that our breakdown has been helpful in making such difficult choices and decisions at least a little bit easier.

References: Ihlic, NFDA, FAMIC, FuneralBasics, US Funerals, US Funerals, BaresfordFunerals, FCACTX, Ihlc, Finder, Ihlic, Ihlc, Ihlc, Ihlc, Ihlc, PerfectGoodbyes, Ihlic, Bankrate, MoneyAdviceService, Iol, CDC, Isminsurance, Statista, FuneralArrangementsGuide, BudgetDirect

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