The fact that we are all going to die someday is a universal truth that all human beings must accept. How we as individuals deal with death varies greatly, but in most cultures, there is some sort of ceremony or funeral when one passes on.
Of course, the cost associated with saying final goodbyes varies greatly, particularly in industrialized nations such as the United States. In some parts of the US, a standard funeral can cost as much as an automobile. To drive this point home, we are going to take a look at the most expensive American cities to die in, based on numbers provided by Connecting Directors.
10 Parsippany, New Jersey ($8,480)
Though it’s commonly referred to as simply Parsipanny, the region is technically called Parsippany-Troy Hill Township. Notable people associated with the area include former Google chef Charlie Ayers and actress Jane Krakowski. The New Jersey town is currently home to around 50,649 residents. It has been featured several times in Money Magzine’s “Best Places to Live in the United States” articles, and most residents who live there are doing quite well, financially speaking.
The average household is bringing in around $85,760 annually, and families are making about $102,601 (median income). These healthy salaries are how citizens manage to afford $8,480, on average, for a funeral in Parsipanny.
9 Greenwich, Connecticut ($8,525)
Greenwich, Connecticut, was first settled back in 1640 and is now home to over 62,000 people. Some famous folks who have resided in the area include actor Mel Gibson, WWE owner Vince McMahon, and actress Jane Fonda. The township is a major hub for the financial services sector, is the wealthiest city in the state of Connecticut, and one of the richest areas in the US.
The average individual living in Greenwich is making roughly $92,759 a year. Those who are looking to relocate to the area can expect to pay $1.7 million for a mid-level single-family home. After hearing these numbers, the town's average funeral cost of $8,525 doesn’t seem so outlandish.
8 Narragansett, Rhode Island ($8,565)
Narragansett, Rhode Island is a seasonal hot spot that has a population of about 34,000 in the summer months and less than half that (15,868) the rest of the year. Former First Lady of the United States Harriett Lane and former US Attorney General J. Howard McGrath are a couple of the famous folks associated with the beach town.
The average working individual in Narragansett is bringing in $28,194 annually. The median income for a family is about $67,571 a year. Despite the relatively modest incomes, the town still has the 8th most expensive funeral costs in the US – at roughly $8,565 on average.
7 Milford, Connecticut ($8,578)
Milford is a coastal city in the state of Connecticut that was originally settled in 1639 and now has over 53,000 residents. Actor John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers) and NHL goaltender Jonathan Quick are some of the notable names associated with Milford. The city is also home to the world-famous Milford Oyster Festival, which is a popular annual event. As with most beach towns, the residents are fairly well off.
The median household income per family in Milford, Connecticut, is $93,697 per year. A family can expect to spend a little less than a ninth of their annual income on standard funeral arrangements – $8,578, to be exact.
6 Chatham, New Jersey ($8,890)
Chatham, New Jersey, was incorporated back in 1806 and named after a British statesman, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatman. Legendary boxing figure Madame Bey and soccer standout Dan Canter are a pair of famous people associated with the area. As with most of the cities on our list, Chatham is full of citizens who are doing quite well for themselves.
The average annual salary in the township is $78, 905. A Chatman family's median income is well over the national average and sits at $182,216. Bringing in that kind of cash makes it easier to absorb the $8,890 it costs for funeral services.
5 Summit, New Jersey ($8,905)
The city of Summit, New Jersey, was settled back in 1710 and was incorporated as a township in 1869. These days, Summit is home to approximately 21,457 people. Stock guru Jim Cramer and jazz singer Bill Robinson reside there. Summit is also the birthplace of award-winning actress Meryl Streep. It is the 72nd richest town in America and has the 16th highest income (per capita) in New Jersey.
The average household in this affluent region is bringing in a cool $220,971 per year. Given that most residents are making a very comfortable living, the $8,905 average funeral cost probably isn’t keeping anyone up at night.
4 Stamford, Connecticut ($9,121)
Stamford residents are the third and final city from the state of Connecticut on our list. Stamford is the 7th-largest city in New England and currently houses almost 130,000 people. MLB manager Bobby Valentine and actor Christopher Lloyd were both born in the city. Other notable former residents include Jackie Robinson, Gene Wilder, and Harry Houdini. Stamford has a bustling financial district and is home to several high profile companies. As of 2007, the median household income was around $72,312 and has likely risen since then.
Folks who want to hold a funeral in this relatively large city can expect to pay a hefty sum of $9,121, on average.
3 Metairie, Louisiana ($9,191)
Metairie, Louisiana, currently has around 138,481 residents and is considered to be part of the New Orleans metropolitan area. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres, NFL receiver Jarvis Landry, and actress Ashley Scott were all born in the city. While there is a famous Metairie Cemetery, it is actually located in New Orleans. Unlike most of the other locations on our list, this is not an affluent region.
The median annual income in the city is around $24,771 per person. With an average funeral cost of $9, 191, residents can expect to pay a significant portion of their yearly income to send their loved ones off.
2 Bernardsville, New Jersey ($9,265)
New Jersey has already made several appearances on our list. In fact, this is the fourth location in the state. In other words, 40 percent of the list is made up of Jersey-based locations. With just over 7,000 residents, Bernardsville is by far the least populated area that’s been highlighted. However, there are still quite a few famous folks who have lived there, including former First Lady of the United States Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and boxer Mike Tyson.
The median family income is about $141,510, and the average funeral cost is a whopping $9,265 – making it the second most expensive city in the US.
1 Rockville, Maryland ($9,847)
The home of the most expensive funeral in America (on average, anyway) is Rockville, Maryland. The city was settled all the way back in 1717 and is sporting a population of around 68,000 people – give or take. Famous folks born in Rockville include Olympic wrestler Helen Maroulis, former pro baseball player Gordy Coleman, and film director Spike Jonze. Based on the numbers, residents appear to be making a solid living, though the area isn’t as affluent as others on our list.
The per capita income per person is a respectable $49,399 per year – through an individual making that can expect to spend about 20% of their annual income ($9,847) on a funeral.