More and more people in the United States are choosing cremation vs burial because of the affordability cremations provide. According to the Cremation Resource Council, the average cost of cremation is $1,100. Comparatively, the average cost of burial with a funeral is approximately $11,000.

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Why Is The Cost Of Cremation Lower Than The Cost Of Burial?

Cremation vs Burial —What Are The Average Costs?

Let’s take a closer look at why cremations have become so affordable versus the funeral.

Cost of Caskets and Burial

Caskets and other associated fees of burials are a huge reason why people are choosing cremation over burial. The average cost of the casket alone is usually more than $2,000. Cemetery plots and headstones are not cheap. The average cemetery plot costs $1000. Also, depending on the size of headstone, they can range from $500 to $10,000 or more.

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Expenses with Both Cremation and Burial

Regardless of which route you choose to go, both cremation and burial have some of the same expenses. These expenses include death certificates, government fees and taxes, and cash advance items. Cash advance items are needed if the funeral home or other provider needs to purchase items from another vendor to support funeral services.

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Cost of a Newspaper Obituary

Another item that can be costly for both cremation and burial might be the obituary and the cost to publish it in a newspaper. It can cost anywhere from $200 to $500 on an average. Using free, digital options like the Everdays App come in handy, not just because of the cost saving, but also in their ability to push automatic updates to friends and family.

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Additional Costs with Cremation

While cremation seems to be more affordable, some expenses are necessary. These include a cremation permit, shipping costs (if the remains need to be sent out of town), and urns. Urns can cost anywhere from $10-$250. Let’s also not forget, that just because someone is being cremated, does not mean they won’t have a funeral. There are add on costs of a memorial service, if the family chooses to have one.


Cremations are much more affordable than burials simply because the price of caskets, cemetery plots, and headstones eat up so much of the overall cost. But both cremations and burials can be expensive when you consider all of the a la carte items that can be added on including memorial services, tribute items you can purchase, and more. It’s important to see if your loved one has a pre-existing plan before you go ahead and make new arrangements.

Choosing the different ways to honor your loved one’s memories is emotional, but it’s also important to know all the practical options, so that you can make the best decisions.

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