As of 2020, the global funeral market has experienced a notable surge in demand, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a significant increase in mortality rates. This trend caused a stark upturn in funeral services, with Spain witnessing a 17.7% increase in deaths in 2020 compared to the previous year and its funeral sector reaching a turnover of 1,700 million euros. The aging population in Spain, with seniors aged 65 or over making up 20.1% of the national populace, is leading to a projected increase in deaths, estimated to grow annually by 0.4% to 1.2% over the next 20 years.

Consequently, the funeral services market in Spain is evolving, with a noticeable shift toward cremation, which now accounts for around 44.9% of funeral services, and a growing preference for digital and sustainable funeral options. There is also a high prevalence of funeral insurance in Spain, with over 46% of the population covered, indicating a unique market trend within the country. Regional legislation varies, with calls for national legislation to streamline the sector’s operations. The sector is dominated by significant players like Mémora, Albia, Funespaña, and Servisa, and employs over 12,000 people across approximately 1,100 companies.

Understanding the Spanish Funeral Services Market

The Spanish funeral services market has been distinctive, reflecting the unique cultural, demographic, and regulatory settings of the country. From an overview of the prevailing trends, it's evident that an aging population, coupled with an increase in secular ceremonies and environmental concerns, is shaping the market's future. Spain's senior citizenry, counting over 9.5 million - constituting more than 20 percent of the total population - paints a picture of a market with increasing future demand. Given the growing life expectancy, currently standing around the mid-80s, the country is set to witness a higher number of deaths, projected to rise between 0.4 and 1.2 percent every year for the next twenty years. By the end of this decade, the toll is predicted to cross 470 thousand, while by 2060, an estimated 650 thousand deaths are expected. In 2021, the number fell to roughly 450 thousand, closer to pre-pandemic figures.

A trend gaining momentum is the preference for cremations over traditional burials. Interestingly, the discrepancy between city and rural dwelling is stark, with urban areas exhibiting higher rates. Digital transformation has been sweeping across the sector, with a significant portion of the population manifesting a readiness to contract funeral services online. Additionally, a robust shift towards sustainable and environmentally friendly funeral services is notable, with the majority of citizens favoring 'green' funerals and nearly 40 percent willing to pay extra for such services. Secular ceremonies are experiencing a rise, presently accounting for 12 percent, possibly impacted by the pandemic restrictions on gatherings. This inclination towards non-religious services encapsulates the broader societal shift towards secularism, particularly pronounced in larger urban locales. Furthermore, insurance covering funeral expenses is a standout feature of the Spanish market. In conclusion, the Spanish funeral services market is on a trajectory shaped by an aging demographic, technological advancements, shifting societal norms, and a pronounced predilection for pre-emptive.

Major Players in the Spanish Funeral Market

Within the intricate and deeply regulated landscape of Spain’s funeral sector, several key players have distinguished themselves through their notable presence and impact. These major players not only reflect the trends and demands within the market, but also help to shape the future of funeral services in the country. Below is an overview of these influential companies and their unique contributions to the industry.

  • Mémora : With the backing of the Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers Pension Fund (OTPP), Mémora secures a significant position within the Spanish and Portuguese markets. Their dedication to providing comprehensive funeral services is evident in their extensive facilities, which include a large number of mortuaries, crematoria, and cemeteries. Their workforce too mirrors their expansive reach, with around 1,400 employees dedicated to facilitating the final journey.
  • Albia: Operating under the umbrella of Santalucía – a leading name in funeral insurance – Albia represents a convergence of assurance and funeral service provision. Their geographical footprint is notable with a multitude of mortuaries, crematoria and cemeteries across the country. Albia stands as a testament to Santalucía’s commitment to the funeral business and serves the needs of numerous families during their time of mourning.
  • Funespaña: As a subsidiary of Mapfre – Spain's paramount insurer and a notable third in the funeral industry stake – Funespaña exhibits strength both in terms of services offered and breadth of facilities. Its growth and reach are reflected in the numerous services provided, the substantial employee base, and the well-spread network of mortuaries, crematoria, and cemeteries.
  • Servisa: With Ocaso at its helm – holding the position as the second largest funeral insurer in Spain – Servisa echoes the strength and reliability of its parent company. Its solid performance within the sector is indicated by a robust number of funeral homes, impressive turnover figures, and a workforce that’s dedicated to honoring the deceased.

These companies play pivotal roles in shaping the funeral services market in Spain. From committing to eco-friendly practices to embracing digital innovations that cater to contemporary needs, they not only respond to the expectations of the society but also take active part in crafting the future landscape of funeral services in the country. With their influence and response to market trends, these market leaders continue to redefine how funeral services are perceived and delivered in Spain.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

Funeral services include all the services and products offered to relatives at the time of an individual's death. This is a very sensitive subject for relatives, and the services offered are often extremely regulated by the States, with cultural specificities specific to each country. A distinction is made between services directly related to the deceased (choice of coffin, grave, hygienic care, etc.) and external services such as decorations or flowers.

At the global level, the North American market dominates: the United States is worth more than 16 billion dollars. In Europe, France is the largest market, ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany. Globally, the funeral market has seen a surge in sales due to the emergence of covid-19. The rise in deaths has driven the increase in sales, while public attention has focused on funeral practices, although the increase in volumes remains relatively small and has been concentrated in the second quarter of 2020 in Europe.

In Spain, approximately 1,100 companies operate in the peninsula and the funeral market employs over 11,000 people in the peninsula. The practice of cremation is growing and is chosen by around 45% of Spaniards today, with clear disparities depending on the area. This practice is much more important in urban areas than in rural areas, and in the South of the country than in the North.

In 2023, new trends are emerging, with the digitalization of the sector, the need for more transparency and, above all, the desire of Spaniards for more sustainable and environmentally friendlyceremonies. In fact, the PSOE has recently proposed measures to reduce the environmental impact of the funeral sector.[Niusdiario]

1.2 The global funeral market

In ****, the global funeral market will be worth $**.* billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% over the next ten years to reach $*** billion by ****.

Funeral sales growth forecast World, ****-****, in billion dollars Source: ****

There is a strong disparity in the funeral market around the world because funeral ...

1.3 The Spanish funeral services market

According to data from the National Association of Funeral Services - Panasef-, during the year ****, the funeral sector billed about *,*** million euros, ** million euros more than in ****. In ****, with the high mortality due to the pandemic, the turnover of the sector reached *,*** million euros (***). The trend for the coming years remains ...

1.4 The impact of the Covid-19 crisis

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (***), the Covid-** pandemic has totally disrupted the country's death data. for reference, it should be noted that the number of deaths in Spain in **** was ***,***, an increase of **.*% compared to ***,*** in ****.

By month, the increases in March and April stand out, by ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 The aging of the Spanish population: a fundamental trend

Spain has a senior population aged ** or over of almost *.** million people, which represents **.*% of the national population. The table below shows the proportion of seniors by age group:

Distribution of the senior population by age group, Spain, ****

Age group **-** years old **-** years old **-** years old **-** years ...

2.2 Evolution of the number of deaths in Spain

According to INE projections, the number of deaths will continue to increase in the coming years due to the changing age structure. Despite the increase in life expectancy, growth will peak in ****. This will result in an estimated increase in the number of deaths of between *.*% and *.*% per year over the ...

2.3 Funeral Service Expectations

The number of cremations carried out in Spain remains stable compared to **** (***) have exceeded **% cremations.although the rate of cremation is increasing rapidly in those localities that install their first crematorium, the rate of cremation is higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

Cremation vs. burial France, ****, in % Source: ****

Incineration ...

2.4 The 12 demand trends

Increase in cremations:

Spain has seen a significant increase in cremation rates since the first crematorium was installed in ****. With *** crematoria, Spain has the largest number of facilities in Europe, more than France or Germany. The cremation rate has risen from **% in **** to **.*% in ****, and is estimated to reach **% by ****. This ...

3 Market structure

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 care of can be numerous:

the placing of the body in the coffin, the mortuary cleaning and the supply of the coffins according to the budget and the wishes of the ...

3.2 Typology and dynamics of actors

Number of jobs and companies :

Evolution of the number of jobs in the funeral sector Spain, ****-****, in numbers Source: ****

The number of jobs in the funeral sector in Spain has been increasing in recent years. In ****, companies in the sector employed **,*** workers, which represents an increase of *** over the previous ...

3.3 Geographical distribution

Funeral services companies are mainly located in Andalusia and Galicia, which have the largest number of companies.

Source: ****

3.4 A large capacity in mortuaries and crematoria

Spain has *,*** funeral homes and some *,*** funeral chambers, with an average of *,*** deaths per day (***). The average time a funeral home is rented is ** hours, so the capacity of the facilities is more than six times greater than the demand, if there is no seasonality or peaks in demand.

In the ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Main funeral services and rates

Rates :

Prices of burials and cremations in different cities Spain, ****, in euros Source: ****

The prices of burials and cremations vary greatly depending on the city and region. In some regions, the average price of a burial is higher than that of a cremation, in others it is the opposite.

Distribution of ...

4.2 Funeral insurance or funeral expenses insurance

A peculiarity of Spain, unique in the world in this respect, is the importance of death insurance. In Spain, in ****, **.**% of deaths were covered by death insurance, according to ICEA. Unsurprisingly, funeral insurance is the second most important branch of insurance, only surpassed by car insurance. As we see below, death ...

4.3 Family satisfaction

Many funeral homes have implemented user feedback through NPS (***) surveys, a globally standardized measurement system. The NPS measures overall user satisfaction based on a single question, "Would you recommend the company's services to your family and friends?"

According to the annual management reports and annual reports of the leading companies in ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Legislation

Royal Decree-Law */**** of * June marked the beginning of a new stage in the activity of funeral companies in Spain. It established urgent fiscal measures and measures for the promotion and liberalization of economic activity, which had a direct impact on the sector. Until ****, the regulation in force was Law */**** of April ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation of actors

  • Servisa
  • ASV
  • Funespaña
  • Mémora
  • Funos
  • Ocaso
  • Santalucía

List of charts

  • Worldwide funeral market sales
  • Growth forecasts for the funeral industry
  • Market size of funeral services in Spain
  • Number of deaths per month
  • Senior population
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