Existing funeral homes

The number of existing funeral homes on the list IS actually misleading. It is not FCA’s fault, because they just quoted the number of funeral homes from a recognized directory. The problem is with how the funeral homes are listed in the directories. Most of the directories of funeral homes, whether it be the red book, yellow book, or whatever, do not distinguish between funeral establishments or branch establishments, nor do they tell you who owns each funeral home. It would be very time consuming, but not impossible, to compile a list of funeral homes in each state by owner. Then combine all the funeral homes in each state that have the same owner. THAT number would be a more accurate number to use for this type of analysis. You would have to contact each state funeral board to get the information about funeral home ownership. Using funeral homes by owner, the number of existing funeral homes would be much less than the numbers cited in the article above. It is not uncommon in rural areas for one owner to own 6 or 7 funeral homes in the same local area, and to share staff among all the facilities. Granted, 6 or 7 is probably on the high end, but it’s not totally uncommon either. One owner owning 2 or 3 locations is extremely common, however. It IS possible that in these situations the local funeral homes are actually doing just what FCA says they should be doing, which is combining enough locations to generate enough business to have one funeral per weekday per year. I’m not saying that FCA is trying to mislead with this article, but I am saying that if you really analyze this issue, there is more to it than this article claims. You would also have to combine certain corporate locations in a given metropolitan area into “one” funeral home, rather than counting each location as a separate funeral home, since they usually share facilities and staff and are under the same ownership. There is also the issue of funeral homes in one state that serve customers from an adjacent state. For example, funeral homes in Missouri (Kansas City) that serve customers who die in Kansas, or vice versa. Another example would be the business that a funeral home in one state gets from the death that occurs in another state. That information is not included in this table, because this data only includes deaths that occur in the state where the funeral home is located. For example, many funeral homes in the “snowbelt” handle funerals for people who retire and die in the “sunbelt” states. Those people are not taken into account in this table because they didn’t die in the state where the funeral took place.

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