15 Facts On Funeral Personalization We Bet You Didn’t Know

Personalized funerals are the way of the future, there is no denying that. 

Sometimes it can be hard to know what direction to go with personalization, or exactly how to make an impact with the client families of today in a way that’s meaningful for them.

Thankfully we have a big cup of clarity for you!

Buckle up and get ready to be inspired with these 15 facts that highlight why personalization matters… and what drives the demand:


1. 71% of families don’t want a traditional funeral

Many people think of traditional funerals as dark and gloomy. That’s perhaps why the US Funerals survey found that 71% of consumers specifically state that they don’t want one. So what do they want? They want something that reflects the unique story of their loved one…and NOT a run-of-the-mill funeral just about anyone can give them. 



2. 53% of families say they have never experienced a personalized funeral

If you’re simply offering themed prayer cards or flowers, don’t think  this is where personalization ends. To the families of today, a personalized service is a “crowning performance” that tells their loved one’s story in a unique and memorable way. How do you find out more about what families want in their loved one’s crowning performance? Feedback. Go back to the drawing board and find out (through research) what client families think a truly personalized service is, then start offering it.



3. People want beer!

In our Funeral Personalization Survey a few years back, we asked 500 participants to name one thing they REALLY WANT to have at a funeral.

The top 5 answers were:

1) Music

2) Family

3) People

4) Beer

5) Flowers

Wait… beer?! What’s that doing in there? It reflects that people want to toast their loved one and have a good time. Funerals should gather loved ones with good music, food, friends and lots of laughter. 

Taking a look at all those words together, not everyone would guess “funeral” right away. It looks like a warm, inviting celebration which is exactly what great funeral & memorial services should be! 


4. 62% of Baby Boomers want a personalized service

Baby Boomers are driving the personalization trend. They feel that personalized services are a valuable and a meaningful part of the grieving process. In 2020, the number of Boomers older than 65 is estimated to reach over 52 million. As more Boomers age, the demand for a more personalized funeral experience will continue to grow. (source)


5. By 2037, 3.6 million Baby Boomers are projected to die in the United States

The movement will only accelerate as the nation approaches a historic spike in deaths. Baby Boomers, despite strenuous efforts to stall the aging process, are not getting any younger. In 2030, people over 65 will outnumber children! (source)



6. The desire for religious services are fading

The National Funeral Directors Association says that in the last six years, the percentage of people who think a religious component is important to a funeral has dropped more than 10 percent – from 49.7 percent to 38.7 percent. Instead, more people are opting for a more personal service. (source)


7. Cemeteries are too crowded

With 2.7 million Americans – as many as the population of the city of Chicago – dying each year, it only stands to reason that cemeteries will become more crowded. At some point the graves will become overwhelming – especially in urban areas. This means that people are looking to lay to rest in new ways. (source)



8. In 2020, over half of people will choose cremation 

More than half of all American deaths lead to cremation due to expense (they can cost a third the price of a burial), the environment, and family members living far apart with less ability to visit cemetery plots. By 2035, the cremation rate is projected to be a staggering 75 percent. (source)

Historic Rates of Cremation and Burial and Future Projections:


(final data)   


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(projected data)


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(projected data) 

Burial (%) 53.3 45.2 37.5 30.6 24.6 19.6 15.7
Cremation (%) 40.4 47.9 56.4 63.5 69.7 74.8 78.7




9. Families are replacing traditional funeral services with memorial services

With the rise in cremation, traditional caskets and burials aren’t the main focus for families anymore.  Many families are replacing funerals (where the body is present) with memorial services (where the body is not). (source)



10. Traditional burials are now seen as wasteful for the environment

If you don’t believe us…. the resources that go into the ground each year include:

  • Enough wood to frame over 2,300 single-family homes
  • Sufficient steel to erect almost 15 Eiffel Towers
  • Nearly four times as much concrete as was used to build the Pentagon
  • A volume of embalming fluid that would overflow an Olympic swimming pool (source)



11. 43% of people are considering green burials 

There are no firm statistics on how many natural burials have taken place — but a 2008 survey by funeral industry researchers Kates-Boylston Publications found that 43 percent of respondents would consider having an eco-friendly burial. With eco consciousness on the rise, people want their funerals to reflect their values. (source)


12. Memorial videos are key to a personalized service

It seems the most popular memorial tribute featured at many personalized funerals is a video of the deceased, usually set to their favorite music. (source)

Luckily with Life Tributes Personalization Software, it’s easy to create beautiful memorial videos in house!


13. Obituaries take center stage in the digital age

Now that obituaries can be displayed on long lasting social memorial websites it’s important that they be personal. Memorial websites with a well written obit bring loved ones together in an amazing way. Check out this guide to writing epic obits.


14. Webcasting is still on the rise

Family members and friends can’t physically make it to your funeral? No problem. They can now watch it over the internet. Webcasting of funerals first became available in the early 2000’s however only started to gain momentum over the last six to seven years as people started to shift from traditional funeral services, along with the costs to transmit a live webcast started to drop.  (source)


15. The bottom line – families believe funeral services are meant to celebrate life

Past funeral association president Mark Musgrove said it best: “Services are more life-centered, around the person’s personality, likes and dislikes. They’re unique and not standardized. The only way we can survive is to provide the services that families find meaningful.” (source)

We hope these stats and facts have lit a fire for personalization within you! Share any others you have with us in the comments below!


PS. If you’re looking for all the right tools to take your next service up a notch check out Life Tributes, our software for all-in-one funeral personalization.

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