Content of the study:
The funeral market - Belgium

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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The funeral market is the market for funerals following the death of a person. Funeral services are the main players in the market, in charge of the various procedures.

The quality of service and the location of the agency play a crucial role in the choice of families or relatives. These funeral companies are often small family businesses. This is the case even though there has been a trend towards concentration or mergers in recent years. We are also seeing a diversification of the activities of funeral directors, particularly with the development of funeral expenses insurance to which 15% of Belgians had subscribed in 2018. DELA is one of the main players in this market

The market depends mainly on the demographic development of the country, and Belgium is an aging country with a growing proportion of people over 65. For the past ten years, the number of deaths per year is around 110,000 in Belgium. Practices are also changing and the cremation is increasingly chosen : in 2019, more than 60% of Belgians have chosen this option. A distinction is made between cremation (cremation in a crematorium) and burial (traditional burial in a cemetery)

To stay dynamic, market players are renewing and diversifying their offers : more responsible solutions ecologically or low cost, are emerging. It is also important to note the growing importance of online communication by the various networks and players in the funeral industry, who are promoting their services through digital channels.

1.2 The global funeral market

In ****, the French funeral market is estimated to be worth $*.* billion (***). In the United States, the industry is worth $** billion, with **,*** businesses and over ***,*** employees. [***]

Turnover of the worldwide funeral market World, ****, in billions of euros Source: ****

1.3 The Belgian funeral services market

Estimated turnover of Belgian funeral directors

If we take :

the average number of deaths (***) over the last decade, which is about ***,*** per year the average cost of a funeral, which is €*,*** according to DELA (***)

Assuming that all funerals are organised by undertakers at an average price of €*,***, the average turnover of ...

1.4 The impact of the Covid-19 crisis

While the death rate had been declining overall since the ****s, the year **** saw an increase in the death rate

While in **** the rate was *.* per *,*** Belgians, in **** the rate has risen to **.* per *,*** Belgians. [***]

Mortality was higher in densely populated areas

Increase in the number of deaths by region in ...


2.1 The ageing of the Belgian population: a fundamental trend

An aging population

In ****, there were more than two million people aged ** and over in Belgium, which corresponds to **% of the population. [***]

According to the Federal Planning Bureau, this proportion will increase to **% in **** and even **% in ****. [***]

Evolution of the proportion of the Belgian population aged ** and over Belgium, **** - ****, in ...

2.2 Evolution of the number of deaths in Belgium

The number of deaths has been broadly stable since **** (***) at around ***,*** deaths per year, but **** showed a much more significant increase in deaths.

Evolution of the number of deaths in Belgium Belgium, **** - ****, in number of deaths Source: ****

Geographical distribution : The Flemish region accounts for **% of the deaths, followed by the ...

2.3 Funeral Service Expectations

The increase in cremation : In ****, more than **% of Belgians have chosen incineration, compared to approximately **% of Belgians in ****.

Share of Belgians who have opted for cremation Belgium, ****, in % Source: ****

Thus, cremation has become the majority in Belgium, ahead of burial - more traditional.

Evolution of the number of cremations Belgium, **** - ...

2.4 Main demand trends

Caskets or ecological approaches :

More and more Belgians are opting for environmentally friendly solutions for their funerals. Coffins made of materials other than wood, such as cardboard or wicker coffins, are on the rise.

Service customization :

There is a desire to find the personality of the deceased at the time of ...


3.1 Organization of the sector

The funeral director can take care of the entire organization of the funeral.

Before the ceremony, the steps he takes can be numerous :

The placing in the coffin, the mortuary cleaning and the supply of the coffins according to the budget and the will of the customers The placement of the ...

3.2 Typology and dynamics of actors

There are *** undertakers in Belgium in **** according to the SNI (***).

There has been a steady growth in the number of businesses over the past decade.

Evolution of the number of undertakers Belgium, **** - ****, in % Source: ****

A sector dominated by small businesses ...

These companies are often family businesses with less than ** people. ...

3.3 Digitization of the sector

The rise of connected services around the sector :

Connected services are also present in a funeral market *.*: death notices and condolences online, funerals to be followed in real time on a tablet, virtual cemetery. Organisation, authorisations and payments can now be made online. The funeral can also be streamed and CDs ...


4.1 Typology of the main funeral services and associated prices

The average total cost of a funeral is usually between €*,*** and €*,*** depending on the region and the services requested. The following table breaks down this average price according to Funebra :

An upward trend in prices

Between **** and ****, rates have increased by more than **% while the cost of living has increased by ...

4.2 Funeral insurance or funeral expenses insurance

In Belgium, in ****, there was an increase in the number of people who could not pay for their funerals: at least one in ** cases on average in Belgium in ****. This represents almost **** funerals per year in default of payment. To meet the needs of these customers, the funeral industry federation created ...

4.3 Supply trends

The arrival of some low-cost players :

Faced with the inflation of funeral services prices, we note the rise of low-cost players reducing prices as much as possible to attract customers

B-Funerals has launched Belgium's first low-cost funeral: it is said to be up to four times cheaper than a traditional funeral. ...


5.1 Regulations

Regulatory framework for the organization of a funeral :

According to, the funeral can be organized independently, although most of the time it is done through a funeral home.

In the case of a burial (***), permission from the municipality is required, which is taken care of by the funeral director ...


6.1 Segmentation

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Reviews (1)

The funeral market - France

Publicado en 19/11/2021 by Patrick Caudwell - Châlons Mars Consultant

Very complete study addressing all the problems and developments in the sector

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Patrick, Thank you for your feedback and we are delighted that this study has given you a good overview of the market.