Cremation Costs: The Average Cost of a Cremation

    October 3, 2012 9 Comments

The Average Cost of a Cremation

The average cost of a cremation is less than half the average cost of a burial.

Funeral costs can exceed $10,000, but cremations tend to cost far less than the average burial service – learn more below.

The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) estimates that in 2010 nearly 41 percent of Americans opted for a cremation over a burial – that’s up from just 26 percent in 2000! Why the huge shift to cremations? While some people prefer cremation because it disposes of the body immediately or because cremated remains do not need to be buried (and therefore save land), the primary reason is attributed to the lower cost of a cremation over a burial.

So how does the average cost of a cremation compare to other funeral costs and to burials? We collected and compiled pricing information from over 1,000 funeral homes across the nation in 2012 in order to determine the average cost of a funeral (burial and cremation) and found the average cost of a cremation to be $3,725. Compare that to the $8,565 we estimate as the average cost of a burial in 2012. It’s important to note that this average cremation cost involves the basic services fee, professional care, a viewing, a funeral ceremony, and an urn (for the complete breakdown, see the itemized list below). And keep in mind, the average cost of a cremation as calculated by us does not include the costs associated with the purchase of flowers, obituaries, death certificates, or other ”cash advance items.”

This information is meant to give you an idea of what you might pay for specific cremation services – on average, across the nation. eFuneral also conducted surveys and compiled reports of funeral costs specific to eleven major metro areas. If you would like to compare the prices, ratings, and reviews of funeral homes in your area, please


The average cost of a funeral service – cremation:

Non-declinable basic services fee $2,205
Professional Care $252
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $474
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $544
Urn (average charge for the most frequently purchased item) $250
Total average cost of a funeral  $3,725


Leah Yomtovian Roush is the Senior Manager of Strategic Development for Cleveland, Ohio-based eFuneral, a comprehensive and free online resource that enables those thinking about end-of-life to research, plan, and arrange a wide variety of funeral-related services. Leah is the editor of eFuneral's Online Resource Center, and she manages the company's marketing efforts and develops strategies for company growth. Leah also serves on the Boards of multiple non-profit organizations, helping them expand their reaches and increase their impacts.

  • Guerry Tanner

    This basic cremation service coupled with Elysium Space, a service that ships your remains into space seems like the coolest thing I ever heard of!

  • Chazz

    I Would rather simply be cremated. No funeral service, No Visitation. Just simple cremation. If people want to remember me, they can gather in one of their homes and remember the good times without being ripped off for the rest of the costs.

    • Genie T.

      My husband, 85, died two weeks ago. We were married in 1950. Buying cremation for ourselves long ago was one of the best investments we ever made. KISS: no services, no visitation, just remembrances, and relaxation when you need it the most.

      • Pablo

        63 years is a long time – it may be really hard to deal with a lost of someone you’ve spent a lifetime with. I’m sorry for your lost, Genie.

      • Pablo


    • Pablo

      Same here. This is not something that one likes to think about, considering that I’m pushing 30, but let the loved ones know our choices is a good idea. I’ve never liked the idea of cemeteries, burials and the rest, and I also support cremation, as opposed to traditional funerals.

  • Cathy

    Direct cremation. Then a party the following weekend. Ballons not flowers. Lots of pictures food drinks and laughs.
    Cathy bklyn ny

  • fran mix

    a relative of mine just had a memorial service at the church after he was creamated and thats all i want to

  • elliemae2009

    Just paid my off this year! Yay! Kids won’t have to worry when the time comes! Party on!

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