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Pricey last farewell

kasia.kobylkaoktober 28, 2020

Every year, more than 88,000 people die in Sweden. There are no official statistics regarding types of funeral, but the estimates indicate that cremations amount to as much as 82 per cent of all deaths.

Picodi.com analysis team examined the costs of a funeral and how different the traditional burial is from cremation in terms of expenditure. We also investigated how various governments help to cover funeral costs.

Swedish ceremony

How much does a funeral cost in Sweden?

In Sweden, some of the expenses connected to the funeral are covered by so-called burial fee paid through taxes. Thanks to that, the person responsible for the funeral does not have to worry about things such as burial plot or cremation costs. However, there are some services which are not financed by the burial fee.

The funeral itself usually consists of a ceremony (either religious or secular) and a wake. The former costs around 1,500 kr. A wake can be much more expensive, with a meeting for thirty people costing about 6,000 kr.

If you opt for a traditional burial, you have to factor in the price of the coffin, which is around 4,000 kr. The biggest expenditure is the gravestone: a simple one costs around 10,000 kr.

In the case of cremation, you’ll need a coffin for incineration (4,000 kr). Other necessary expenses include an urn for the ashes which costs around 800 kr.

If you compare the total expenses for the two ceremonies, it turns out that cremation is a lot cheaper: a traditional burial costs around 23,500 kr, while the cremation is only around 14,300 kr.

In what countries are funerals the most expensive?

Costs of funeral in various countries

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 Sweden compares to others.

Sweden, where the costs of the funeral average 14,300 kr (€1,379), was placed 14th out of 16 countries the ranking.

Funeral costs are the highest in Japan, where you need to pay around €10,790 total and cannot count on state aid. Two European countries, Spain and France, ranked just behind Japan — funeral arrangements there cost €7,800 and €7,450 respectively. Interestingly, although there is a funeral benefit available in Spain, it amounts to only €46.5, which is less than 1 per cent of funeral expenses.

On the other end of the ranking, there is Ukraine — in this country, €803 is enough to arrange a funeral. It’s also quite affordable in Mexico, where the total cost is about €1,199.

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 cemeteries. 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.

Public Use

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