Deathcare is a Multibillion Dollar Industry – Who are the Big Players?
The United States Center for Disease Control reports that 2,712,630 people died in 2015, about an average year by all accounts. And several national reports indicate that the family and friends of those people spent a total of more than $15 billion that year on funerals, cremation, burial and other products and services of the “death care” industry (sometimes referred to by industry insiders as simply “death” or even “big death.”)
Deathcare, clearly, is a big (and growing) industry. And, like any major US industry, it has its share (some insiders might even argue more than its share) of insider politics that ultimately affect everyone who attends a funeral or even read an obituary in any given year. The industry even has a few folks whose full time job is simply to keep up with all of that politics.
Given the emotional nature of death care – and the large amount of money the average US family spends for a funeral (anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 depending on the study) – plenty of “Average Joe” consumers join the political fray each year, becoming involved in the consumer advocate side of the death care after encountering distress when planning a loved one’s memorial service. For these new comers – and for folks just wanting to make sure they are getting the best possible prices and services out of the industry – the industry can be an overwhelming maze. This guide to the major players in each of the industry’s political sectors will help demystify the maze.