How Much Does It Cost to be Cremated in 2018


True cost of cremation in 2018 

About five decades ago, roughly 96% of all people who died in the U.S. were buried, while the remaining 4% were cremated. But now there has been a shift to the opposite direction in which more people choose to be cremated when they die. As a matter of fact, nearly half were cremated in 2013. According to Slate, there are several good reasons behind the change, such as dispersion of families, religion (or rather the growing skepticism about it), and the most obvious one is cost or value.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) provides a general estimate comparison between funeral with burial and funeral with cremation in which the median cost for the former is about $1,000 more expensive than the latter. NFDA has also projected that cremation rate in 2018 will increase to about 54%, most of them being in large urban areas. By 2035, however, the increase will reach 50% in all 50 states. Another source gives more detailed cremation prices in some major American cities:

The Range of Cremation Prices in American Cities
Based on Price of Direct Cremation in the 40 Largest American Cities
City
State
Max.
Min.
Range
New York
NY
$10,125
$550
$9,575
Washington
DC
$7,595
$700
$6,895
Houston
TX
$6,795
$675
$6,120
Dallas
TX
$6,290
$850
$5,440
Indianapolis
IN
$6,065
$895
$5,170
Chicago
IL
$4,595
$895
$3,700
Charlotte
NC
$4,390
$895
$3,495
Virginia Beach
VA
$4,325
$895
$3,430
Pittsburgh
PA
$3,895
$695
$3,200
Baltimore
MD
$3,915
$725
$3,190
Nashville
TN
$4,390
$1,295
$3,095
Milwaukee
WI
$3,690
$595
$3,095
Cleveland
OH
$3,700
$695
$3,005
St, Louis
MO
$3,630
$695
$2,935
San Antonio
TX
$3,595
$695
$2,900
Seattle
WA
$3,390
$495
$2,895
Boston
MA
$3,845
$995
$2,850
Providence
RI
$4,170
$1,350
$2,820
Atlanta
GA
$3,640
$895
$2,745
Sacramento
CA
$3,290
$615
$2,675
Philadelphia
PA
$3,250
$595
$2,655
San Jose
CA
$3,345
$690
$2,655
Orlando
FL
$3,290
$795
$2,495
Portland
OR
$2,940
$490
$2,450
Austin
TX
$2,940
$675
$2,265
Los Angeles
CA
$2,868
$620
$2,248
Jacksonville
FL
$2,940
$695
$2,245
Detroit
MI
$2,795
$650
$2,145
Cincinnati
OH
$2,995
$895
$2,100
Columbus
OH
$2,795
$695
$2,100
 

As you can see, cremation cost varies from place to place and it depends on various factors including but not limited to the service options such as transportation, funeral, and what you want to do with the ashes. If you plan on burying the remains, there is an additional cost for that too.

 Average Cost of Cremation

Whether you are planning for someone else’s cremation and burial or your own in the future, you must understand that everything – at the end of the day – is a business for the service provider. Just like other business fields, there is competition and options with which you have the freedom to choose the kind of services and quality as well. Based on the 2017 NDFA statistics, the average cost of cremation in the U.S. is $6,260; it sounds quite a expensive but is still cheaper than the average cost of burial which reached $7,360.

Put in mind that the number is for an all-inclusive service, not for direct cremation alone. For the more affordable cremation cost, you may want to exclude the additional services and opt for direct cremation service instead. This basic option typically includes:

  • Immediate cremation after death
    • Dealing directly with crematory, not funeral home, can lower the costs
  • Simple cremation casket
    • Opting for a simple casket rather than a pricy one can greatly reduce the overall cost

Excluded Features

  • Preparation of the body including embalming
  • Funeral service
  • Transportation service
  • Memorial service

While traditional cremation service always appears to be much more respectful to the deceased, direct cremation is far from being inappropriate. You will also need to consider the extra cost associated with death certificates, obituary, permit, taxes, cremation urn, and items that a funeral home may need to purchase from other vendors. 

Conclusion

It is a thoughtful gesture to have a cremation prepared ahead of time but there is no rule to suggest that you must spend more than necessary. You are essentially purchasing a service, so it only makes sense to call a number of providers and compare their rates.

 

If you have any questions regarding cremation, please contact us. We'll respond to you as soon as possible.


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