The U.S. Funeral Homes, Cemeteries & Crematories Industry

The U.S. Funeral Homes, Cemeteries & Crematories Industry

The $20 billion U.S. funeral homes industry is a mature, low-growth and fragmented business comprised of mostly independent services. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a record 3.4 million deaths and a record 1.9 million cremations, and the industry benefitted from the increase in 2020 and 2021. However, as more consumers opted for cremation, and services shifted from in-person to virtual, the product mix changed, and top-line revenues were constrained.

As the price of the average funeral climbs to $7,848, more people are opting for less costly cremations (57% of all services now and rising steadily). This study examines the industry’s nature and structure, factors affecting demand and growth, pricing/profit margins, funeral home operating ratios from the Census Bureau and trade groups, demographics/death rates, and industry receipts from 1985-2019 actual, 2020-2021 estimated, 2022 & 2025 forecasts. Separate analyses of funeral homes and cemeteries. Effects of the pandemic on growth and operations is included.

Contains results of surveys by government agencies, the leading trade associations and private sector organizations, brokerage firm analysts, etc. Reference Directory of Industry trade associations, journals, consultants is included.

Introduction Study Scope, Sources Used, Methodology
Nature & Profile of The Industry
* Industry structure and evolution
* Factors affecting demand for services
* Major industry trends: discussion of increasing number of cremations, America’s
aging population, shift to more virtual services
* Major industry metrics, as reported by the National Funeral Directors Association
(prices, cremations, demand for green services, family ownership, no. of funeral
homes, etc.)
Tables & Charts:
Annual deaths in the U.S. (chart) – 1920-2021
Historical Number of U.S. Deaths, annual percent chg. – 2000-2021
Average daily deaths in the U.S., by month (chart): 2010-2021
Life expectancy at birth and age 65, by sex: United States, 2019 and 2020 (chart)
Number of U.S. cremations, annual percent chg. – 1980-2021
Industry Size, Trends, Growth
* Discussion of fragmented nature of the industry, no. of funeral homes, estimated share of large chains, barriers to entry, reasons why industry not much affected by business cycles
* Major Industry Demand/Growth Factors: discussions of… 1) the death rate/aging population, 2) prices/avg. funeral costs, 3) change in no. of funeral homes, 4) product mix of services/more cremations, 5) health of the overall economy.
* Revenue data sources: where growth comes from, estimates of no. of no. of U.S. funeral homes, sources of industry receipts data (Census Bureau, Service Annual Survey, County Business Patterns, competitors)
* Effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on revenues and operations – views of NFDA, competitors
* Analysis of top 4 chains’ performance (sales for 2020, 2021, 2022 1st quarter)
* Marketdata estimates of 2020 & 2021 receipts growth, discussion of recent price
increases (avg. cost per funeral),
* 2022 & 2025 Forecasts & Rationale: Marketdata forecasted receipts growth, value of industry revenues, long-term outlook, positive & negative factors.
Total industry national receipts: 1985-2020 actual, for Funeral Homes, Cemeteries & Crematories, combined total, annual percent change.
Profile of The Leaders – Revenues: 2019-2021, Q1 2022
Economic Structure & Operating Ratios of the Industry
(Census Bureau data)
* Text/Discussion & analysis of 2020, 2017, 2012major Operating Performance ratios; the industry’s structure at a glance, ratios by: Legal Form of Organization, by Single/Multi-Unit, by top 50 firms’ Market Share (Concentration Ratios), by Receipts by Size of Firm, by Receipts by Size of Establishment, Geographic Analysis: Share of National Receipts and Average Receipts Per Establishment-by State,
Census Tables
Snapshot of the Funeral Homes industry: summary statistics, 2002, 2007,
2012, 2017
Snapshot of the Cemeteries & Crematories industry: summary statistics,
2002, 2007, 2012, 2017
Labor Productivity Ratios: Funeral Homes: 2002-2020
Labor Productivity Ratios: Cemeteries & Crematories: 2002-2020
Funeral Home Receipts, by Type: 2017
Funeral Homes Industry: Expenses & Profit Margins: 2013-2019
Cemeteries & Crematories Industry: Expenses & Profit Margins: 2013-2019
Legal Form of Organization 2017 & 2012 Total funeral service & crematory
firms, by legal form of organization corporations, sole proprietorships,
partnerships: (no. of firms, receipts, payroll as % receipts, no. of employees)
Ratios by Single vs. Multi-Unit Companies 2017 & 2012 (ratios as above)
Market Share (Concentration Ratios) 2017 & 2012 ratios for top 4, 8, 20, 50
largest firms (no. of estabs., firms, receipts as a % total, payroll as % receipts)
Ratios by Receipts by Size of Firm 2017 & 2012 (under $100,000 to $100 +
million.); (no. of firms, estabs., receipts, payroll, avg. receipts per firm)
Ratios by Receipts by Size of Facility 2017 & 2012 (under $10,000 to $10+
million.); no. of firms, estabs., receipts, payroll, avg. receipts per firm)
Average Receipts Per Establishment by State 2020 (no. of estabs., yearly receipts, % of U.S. total, avg. sales per facility)
The Competition
Table: 2019-2021 revenues of Service Corp., Carriage Services, StoneMor Inc., Park Lawn Corp.
Reference Directory of Industry Information Sources
* Addresses, phones, contacts at major industry trade associations, trade journals,
industry research reports by brokerage firms.

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