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The Deathcare Industry

Major changes are taking place in the funeral and burial industries. In this AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Brief, Sharon Hermanson describes the deathcare industry, identifies significant changes occurring in it, and discusses federal and state oversight of its ongoing transformation.

Currently, in the United States there are more than 22,000 funeral homes, approximately 115,000 cemeteries, 1,155 crematories, and an estimated 300 casket sellers (that are neither funeral homes nor cemeteries).

Changes in the industry include an increase in preneed agreements, cremations, and the number of large chains. In addition, there is a blurring of the traditional distinctions between the funeral and burial industries, and between for-profit and non-profit cemeteries. (8 pages)

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