Bargain reports and analytics

Pricey last farewell

PicodiOctober 28, 2020

Every year, almost 300,000 people die in Canada. There are no official statistics regarding types of funeral, but the estimates indicate that cremations amount to as much as 72 per cent of all deaths. analysis team examined the costs of funeral and how different the traditional burial is from cremation in terms of expenditure. We also investigated how various governments help to cover the funeral costs and Canada is one of the countries which offer funeral benefits.

Canadian ceremony

How much does a funeral cost in Canada?

The traditional burial and cremation are very different, but some costs apply to both types of ceremony. First, there are administrative costs: death certificate and some other necessary documents cost around C$70. Then the person responsible for the funeral has to pay around C$450 for preparing the body: the deceased must be washed, embalmed, and dressed. Of course, the body has to be transported, both during the funeral (renting a hearse), and from the place of death to mortuary — which, in total, is around C$425.

The funeral itself usually consists of a ceremony (either religious or secular) and a wake. The former costs around C$825. This sum covers the rental of the venue or church for the memory service and paying the celebrant. A wake is a bit less expensive, with a meeting for thirty people costing about C$650.

If you opt for a traditional burial, you have to factor in the price of the coffin, which is around C$1,000. You should expect to pay even a bigger sum for the burial plot — C$5,000. Another expenditure is the gravestone: a simple one costs around C$4,500.

In the case of cremation, you’ll obviously need to pay for incineration, which is about C$792 (including a simple coffin). Other necessary expenses include an urn for the ashes which costs around C$240. If you want to preserve them in a columbarium, you would have to pay about C$3,000 for the urn niche.

If you compare the total expenses for the two ceremonies, it turns out that cremation is a lot cheaper: a traditional burial costs around C$12,920, while the cremation is only around C$6,452.

In what countries are funerals the most expensive?

What country is the most expensive for a funeral?

We checked what kind of funeral is the most popular in 15 various countries and how much it costs. Thanks to that, we can see how Canada compares to others.

Canada, where the costs of the funeral average C$6,452 (US$4,873), was placed seventh in the ranking. The funeral benefit offered by the government, which amounts to C$2,500 (US$1,888), would cover around 39 per cent of the expenses.</ahref=”https:>

Funeral costs are the highest in Japan, where you need to pay around US$12,721 total and cannot count on state aid. Two European countries, Spain and France, ranked just behind Japan — funeral arrangements there cost US$9,195 and US$8,782 respectively. Interestingly, although there is a funeral benefit available in Spain, it amounts to only US$55, which is less than 1 per cent of funeral expenses.

On the other end of the ranking there is Ukraine — in this country, US$946 is enough to arrange a funeral. It’s also quite affordable in Mexico, where the total cost is about US$1,414. Swedes spend around US$1,625 on organising the last farewell, thanks to a mandatory burial fee paid through their taxes, which covers most of the funeral expenses.

In some countries (like Ireland or Germany) there are no funeral benefits. Instead, citizens need to buy the appropriate insurance plan. However, the government pays for the burial in the case of people of limited means or homeless (at the lowest cost).

All prices are approximate. The cost of different elements may differ greatly — this report takes into account products and services which are medium or low priced.


This report is based on the local prices of different elements of funeral published on websites of funeral homes, churches, and cemetaries. Funeral benefits data comes from websites of governments and the report takes into account the highest amount available. For the currency conversion, we used the average exchange rate for August to October 2020 according to Google Finance.



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