The Business of Death

How do you take data related to the worldwide funeral industry and make it interesting to review? If you are GOOD Magazine, you create a fun infographic that lobs various bits of data at you, along with terms like, “embalming fluid” and “formaldehyde“. Welcome to the Business of Death animated infographic. As the creators of the animation write:

Throughout the developed world the business surrounding death has often been an uneasy topic of discussion. Originating in the mid-19th Century, the modern funeral has evolved into an economic and cultural monster, with a vast network of supporting industries and myriad options for your earthly remains.


The statistics thrown at you include: there are 1:8 deaths per second worldwide; in the US, death is an 11 billion dollar a year industry; the average cost of a funeral in the US is $6500, excluding the cemetery plot; in Japan, the average cost of a funeral is $40,000.

Cremations are the majority of funerals in Japan & the UK. Neither burying the dead nor cremating them are environmentally friendly. The authors list “green” alternatives, as well as unusual ways to be buried in various countries around the world. (I like the cardboard casket idea the best.)

I think this animation is a humorous way to take data about an otherwise serious industry and make some important points without being too preachy. Which part of the animation did you like or dislike the most? Did any of the data surprise you? Did you find it humorous?

Jewel Ward
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Jewel Ward

Founder and Consultant at Impact Zone Consultancy
Nice to meet you! I am Jewel Ward, founder of Impact Zone (www.impactzone.co). Our specialties are search engine optimization and digital stewardship for creative industry websites.

We work hard to serve our clients’ needs so they can solve their technology problems. Our goal is to enable our creative clients to succeed digitally in whatever form success means to them.

Here are three fun facts about me. I consider coffee and chocolate food groups. I am an INFJ. I love longboard surfing.
Jewel Ward
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