Funeral Costs in the US: Top 10 Most Expensive Places To Die Funeral Costs in the US: Top 10 Most Expensive Places To Die
Funeral In The UK: Cost & Guide, Most Expensive Places To Die and More Funeral In The UK: Cost & Guide, Most Expensive Places To Die and More
Funeral Costs In The World: Top 15 Most Expensive Places To Die
Funeral Costs In The World

The "cost of dying" is rising faster than the rate of inflation, with typical cremation and burial costs rising by at least 5% annually and by as much as 68% in some places. One study's findings is that not only do homes and beers cost more in London than anywhere else in the UK, but that the city is also the most expensive place to be buried. The budgets of the bereaved will be even more squeezed by these increases, and some may find it difficult to pay their bills.

According to the insurance company, the average funeral costs between $7,000 and $12,000. The most expensive cemeteries and burial plots in the world are much more expensive than those, though.

In light of the cost of living and income in each nation, new research from SunLife, a provider of life insurance for people over 50, has identified which nations are the most expensive in the world to pass away in.

According to data compiled by its research team, Japan is the most expensive country in the world to pass away, with the average cost of a burial or cremation coming to just over two-thirds of the average annual salary. China is the next most expensive, with an average cost of just under half as much. Germany is the most expensive country in Europe to die in, but at only 16% of your total income, it is considerably less expensive than China and Japan.

According to the study, the average funeral expense in Japan is about 3 million Yen (roughly $27,900*), which is more than two-thirds of the average annual salary in the nation, which equals about $40,863 based on the most recent data from the OECD Better Life Index.

Germany is the most expensive country in Europe to pass away, but at only 16% of your total income, it is considerably less expensive than China and Japan, which are more expensive in Asia.

However, not everywhere in Asia is it expensive to pass away, with the price of passing away in India being only 2% of the average salary. According to the study, the least amount of a worker's salary—1.3%, 2.3%, and 2.4%—was spent on the average funeral in Russia, Poland, and Denmark. The following is a list of the top 15 most expensive nations:

Top 15 Most Expensive Places To Die In The World

1. Japan

Photo: savvytokyo
Photo: savvytokyo

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 3,000,000 Yen

In Japan, funerals are the most expensive in the world, costing an average of $30,970 (£22,230) per person. The average funeral expense in the United States is 444,000 yen ($4,183), which is more than five times higher than his average.

This amounts to 68.3% of the typical yearly wage. About 1.1 million Japanese people pass away each year, and the process of saying goodbye includes three crucial steps: the wake, the ceremony, and the cremation. The fact that tasks are now outsourced to expensive third-party vendors, as opposed to being traditionally performed by members of the deceased person's local community, is one of the reasons funerals are so expensive.

More than 3.8 million yen was spent on crematory and ceremony fees by about 1.5 percent. The average cost of funeral services was about 1.19 million yen.

In Japan, funeral services are traditionally performed over two days: a vigil is held on the first day, and a funeral ceremony is followed by cremation.

2. China

Photo: strategy4china
Photo: strategy4china

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 37,375 Yuan

In China, a grave makes up the majority of the total cost of a funeral, or close to 90%. When the Kunming Jinlong Ruyi Park Cemetery announced plans to offer 10-year mortgages to cover the cost of graves, there was a strong backlash. Every year, nearly 11 million people pass away in China, where the average person spends $5,891 on final expenses. This amounts to almost half of the typical annual salary.

The cost of an average burial plot has increased 41% to $14,800 since the middle of 2015, according to Bloomberg, which cited data from Fu Shou Yuan International Group, China's largest publicly traded operator of cemeteries and funeral homes. This increase has outpaced the growth of 23% in home prices as determined by China's National Bureau of Statistics.

In 2017, the average price of a plot was about $16,540 per square meter, more than twice the $8,260 average price per square meter of an apartment in Shenzhen, China's most expensive housing market.

3. Germany

Photo: dailymail
Photo: dailymail

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 6,880 Euros

Germans have mastered the art of coming up with inventive ways to avoid paying for expensive funerals. Donating the body to science is one increasingly popular way to save money. In fact, it has grown to be so well-liked that some institutions are now forced to turn away corpses. A more formal farewell will set you back $8,670 (£6,246) on average.

German funerals typically cost €5,000 ($6,100), which is roughly twice the average monthly wage. Additionally, a third of German households are already in debt, making it difficult for many people to cope financially when a family member passes away. Recipients of social assistance may request that the state cover the expenses.

4. South Africa

Photo: sowetanlive
Photo: sowetanlive

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 26,875 South African Rand

According to recent research, South Africa is the fourth most expensive place in the world to pass away, with the average annual salary accounting for 13% of the price of a burial or cremation.

This is part of SunLife's Cost of Dying International research, which determined the typical funeral expense in South Africa to be approximately R26 875. The average worker receives a yearly salary of about R270 000, per StatsSA.

The research team of the life insurance provider determined that the cost of dying globally is approximately 10% of the average individual salary.

5. The Netherlands

Photo: timesknowledge
Photo: timesknowledge

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 6,000 Euros

The World Bank's collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, reports that the crude death rate (per 1,000 people) in the Netherlands was 8.8% in 2019. The World Bank provided actual values, historical data, forecasts, and projections for the Netherlands' crude death rate in December 2021.

A little over 60% of Dutch households have insurance specifically created to cover the cost of funerals because they are expensive in the Netherlands. If your family is unable to continue making payments after renting a grave for 10 or 20 years, the remains will be transferred to a mass grave. Funeral expenses for families average around $7,532, or roughly 13% of the average yearly wage.

6. The United Kingdom

Photo: funeralcostshelp
Photo: funeralcostshelp

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 4,417 Great British Pound

We’ve seen a rise in the average cost of dying. It’s now the highest it’s ever been, at £9,263 (+0.8% since 2019).

However, this is a small rise compared to previous years. In fact, this year's increase is the lowest we’ve seen since our research began in 2004.

In the report, we look at how funerals have changed this year – including the impact of COVID-19, the types of funerals being chosen, and the changing trends in funerals.

According to life insurance provider SunLife, the price of the average UK funeral has more than doubled since 2004 when a basic funeral would have cost around $2,547 (£1,835). Now, Brits are spending on average $6,131 (£4,417), which is around 12.6% of the average annual salary.

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7. New Zealand

Photo: stuff
Photo: stuff

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 7,506.50 NZ Dollars

Only 5% of New Zealanders pre-plan their funerals, despite the fact that the average funeral there costs about $10,000. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the price of funerals in New Zealand, which can now cost up to $15,000 per person. It costs a lot to rent a burial plot, and there is frequently a "digging fee" as well. Funeral expenses typically cost about $5,435, or 12.2% of a New Zealander's annual salary. According to research, a basic burial in New Zealand costs on average $6,783, while a basic cremation costs on average $3,011 in that country.

8. The United States of America

Photo: news18
Photo: news18

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 7,289 US Dollars

In the US, there are about 2.4 million funerals held annually. The most common method of interment is still traditional burial, but if a state mandates a cement vault for bodies, the price may go up. The industry is surprisingly uncompetitive, and Service Corporation International alone generated more than $3 billion in revenue in 2018. Funeral expenses in the United States average $8,132 per person, or 12.1% of annual income.

The group examined the average "cost of dying" in the United States in 2020 using data from the National Funeral Directors Association and the CDC on the cost of end-of-life care, funerals, and cremations.

Hawaii was the most expensive state, with average funeral costs of $14,478; average costs for end-of-life medical care exceeding $23,073; and average cremation costs of $12,095. All told, the average cost of passing away comes to a staggering $36,124.

Mississippi has the lowest average death benefit at $15,516 per person.

According to the CDC, the price of funerals and other end-of-life services increased to $63.8 billion in 2020 from a total of $55.8 billion in 2019, a 14.3% increase, the report notes. When all COVID-19-related deaths are taken into account, it is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic will cost households $8.1 billion through April 2021.

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9. Portugal

Photo: theportugalnews
Photo: theportugalnews

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 2,631 Euros

Funerals frequently involve a large number of people because family is so important in Portuguese culture. Most funerals are religious affairs because roughly 80% of the population is Catholic. Such ceremonies can be expensive; the average person spends $3,302 or 11.8% of their annual salary on funerals. BC was responsible for 1,664 deaths in Portugal in 2014, or about 3.2% of all female fatalities there. 13,425 YLL, or 6.2% of the country's total YLL in women, were brought on by BC in 2014.

The estimated YLD for 2014 was 9,667. This results in an estimated 23,092 DALY for the overall disease burden attributable to female BC. A direct cost of €146.1 million, or roughly 1.4% of all Portuguese health expenditures, was attributed to BC. Given the relative youth of women with BC, the indirect costs came to €163.3 million. BC imposes a sizable economic cost of € 309 million, or 0.18% of Portuguese GDP.

10. Croatia

Photo: blessedfunerals
Photo: blessedfunerals

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 8,400 Kuna

You must spend at least 5,050 Kuna on a funeral in Varadin. The burial service itself, which includes coffins, flowers, a death notice, and burial music, is priced at a minimum of this amount. This cost does not include a gravesite. In Split and Zagreb, the cost of a burial starts at around 5,500 Kuna.

If a grave must be purchased, costs in every town rise significantly. The price will increase if you purchase it at the last minute, and the final sum also depends on whether you intend to purchase a concrete tomb or a regular grave. A grave costs between 1,000 and 4,500 kuna, with the exception of Rijeka, where anyone who has lived in the city for more than 15 years is entitled to a grave for free. Although more expensive, stone tombs can accommodate more coffins. At Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery, the least expensive tomb costs 80,000 Kuna. A similar tomb costs about 12,000 Kuna in Split, but up to 20,000 Kuna in Varadin for a partially concrete tomb. In Dubrovnik, where it costs about 5,000 Kuna, a funeral is the least expensive option. A burial costs 5,400 Kuna in Karlovac's town cemetery while it costs 5,280 Kuna in Rijeka.

Because cemeteries are surrounded by residential areas, there is nowhere for them to expand, which is the main cause of graves being so expensive. Sadly, this is not going to change anytime soon, and burial costs will only increase.

11. Ireland

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 4,518.50 Euros

The average cost of a funeral is €4,062, which includes the removal and care of the deceased, embalming, transportation to a church or cemetery, a hearse, the funeral director's fee, and a coffin, but not "disbursements" like the cost of a church offering, a priest, music, an obituary notice (more information can be found below), or the price of a burial site or cremation service.

The most expensive standard funeral cost reported to researchers was €6,310 in Co. Tipperary.

Sligo and Clare counties recorded the highest average funeral costs at €5,000, while Co. Wexford had the lowest at €3,408.

A double grave plot at a cemetery in Deansgrange, Dublin, was quoted at a high price of €32,000 (the same size plot in Shanganagh, Dublin, was quoted at €5,600, again reflecting significant geographic differences in pricing).

Cork had the highest cremation costs at €770, followed by Dublin at €682; Galway had the lowest at €527.

12. France

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 3,900.50 Euros

In France, the average cost of a funeral is close to €4,000, but there are large regional and national variations. Today, the French funeral industry is worth €2.25 billion, which is a twofold increase from 20 years ago.

According to a recent survey by the consumer group UFC-Que Choisir, the average cost of burial services—excluding the plot—is €3,815. That represents a 14% increase over 2014 and is more than three times the inflation rate during the same time frame.

The study found that there were notable price differences between funeral homes in addition to the increase being significant.

While the lowest quote for burial was €1,269 and the highest was €7,515, this emphasizes the value of getting several quotes before choosing one business.

Additionally, prices varied by region, with an average price of €3,483 in Nouvelle-Aquitaine and €4,882 in the Île-de-France.

The study also discovered significant variations among some service components. A simple oak wood coffin ranged in price from €490 to €1,576 with some companies, while opening and closing the grave could cost between €95 and €880.

Additionally, there are taxes to pay that range from €30 to €107 and are determined by the department.

13. Argentina

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 51,750 Argentine Pesos

According to Cocheria Tacuari, a local funeral home, the least expensive service is cremation without a wake, which costs 25,000 pesos (about $415 US), or about 50% more than the monthly minimum wage of 16,875 pesos ($281 US).

Thus, the 78.5% cremation rate is not only the highest recorded in the past ten years, but also not unexpected. Paying for a funeral "means, for a family, that they might not eat this month," said Juan Tapia of Cocheria Tacuari.

Buenos Aires public cemeteries charge between 400 and 2,000 pesos ($7-$30 US) per month in rent, maintenance included. Plots sell for a minimum of 55,000 pesos ($918 USD) in the private sector, with monthly maintenance starting at 500 pesos ($8 USD). costs that the general public is no longer able to afford.

There are a lot of abandoned tombs that are overgrown with vegetation. There are statues that have been broken and completely destroyed niches. Some have internal bones that can be seen. "It's an economic problem," says Tapia. People lack the funds necessary to pay for a service. Family members lend a hand to one another and ask for loans; some even come and pay with US dollars they have hidden under their mattresses or saved.

14. Finland

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 3,500 Euros

In Finland, funerals typically cost $4,405 each. Families in Finland have historically interred their dead in wooden boxes. Nowadays, 85% of people are cremated because there isn't enough room for cemeteries in cities like Helsinki. Families may rent cemetery plots for a period of 25 years if the deceased chooses a traditional burial. In Finland, the price of cremation and scattering ashes is around 1,700 euros. 2,400 euros, or roughly 2,700 euros when traveling to the West Coast. (Total: 1,800 euros) Approximately 100 euros.

In Finland, adding another $1,500 to $2,500 for a grave space, a grave marker, and opening or closing the grave is not uncommon. Consequently, the average price of a traditional funeral and burial is probably at least $9,000.

A traditional funeral and burial could cost less than $5,000 or more than $10,000, depending on the quality of the casket, burial vault, and other items chosen. A direct burial or direct cremation can be arranged for under $1,000 if no memorial services are wanted.

15. Belgium

Average Funeral Cost (Local Currency): 3,500 Euros

The funeral home will handle a lot of the arrangements if the burial or cremation is to take place outside of Belgium. However, the initial registration of the death adheres strictly to the above-described steps. The person who reports the death must then specify that the body will be returned home so that paperwork can be made.

Belgians typically spend $5,026 or 9.1% of their annual income on funerals. Because 65% of people identify as Christians, they also frequently practice religion. However, one of the more peculiar customs is that, even though it's common for people to send sympathy bouquets to bereaved families, mourners must be careful to never send 13 blooms, as that is considered unlucky.

What is the cost of dying and how has it changed?

The total cost of a person's funeral, including professional fees, the funeral service, and add-ons like the wake or gathering, is the "cost of dying" figure.

According to our most recent study, the price of dying has risen to an all-time high of £9,263. That represents a rise of 39% over the past ten years and an increase of 0.8% from the previous year.

Why has the cost of dying risen so much?

The main reason why the cost of dying is so high is a rise in funeral costs. A basic funeral in the UK now costs £4,184 on average, which makes up 45.2% of the total cost of dying.

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