Death care industry

Not to be confused with Palliative care.

The term death care industry refers to companies and organizations that provide services related to death: funerals, cremation or burial, and memorials. This includes for example funeral homes, coffins, crematoria, cemeteries, and headstones.[1][2]

United States

Consumer protection

A number of factors make this business unique from the customer's point of view, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Funerals are among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make; most often, a consumer goes through the decision making for this process once, so that there is little experience, and often few sources of information are used; and those making funeral decisions may be under time pressure and significant emotional duress.[3] Funeral homes are regulated under the Funeral Rule.


In the United States alone, there are more than 22,000 funeral homes, approximately 115,000 cemeteries, 1,155 crematories, and an estimated 300 casket sellers.[4] The total U.S. deathcare industry was $11.95 billion in 2007.[5] Enough embalming fluid is buried every year to fill eight Olympic-size pools; more steel (in caskets alone) than was used to build the Golden Gate Bridge; and enough reinforced concrete to construct a two-lane highway from New York to Detroit.[6]


  1. "Religion: The Death Industry". Time Magazine. 14 November 1960.
  2. "The 10 Companies That Control the Death Industry". The Atlantic Monthly. 19 January 2011.
  3. Federal Trade Commission (2000). Prepared Statement for the Committee on For the Special Committee on Aging. United States Senate (April 11).
  4. Hermanson, Sharon. (2000-05-01) The Deathcare Industry. Retrieved on 2013-07-11.
  5. Funeral Service Facts. National Funeral Directors Association
  6. Sehee, Joe (2007). Green Burial, PERC Reports, Winter 2007. Retrieved on 2007-12-07.

Women in the funeral industry

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