The Dutch municipalities together spent nearly 173 million euro on maintaining and managing municipal cemeteries and performing other burial tasks in 2010. The revenues amounted to just over 120 million euro. In recent years cost rose faster than revenues. The costs for burials that the municipalities have to finance from public means increased from 33 million euro in 2005 to 52 million euro in 2010.
Costs and revenues of municipal cemeteries
Highest burial costs in small municipalities
Small municipalities spent much more per capita on cemeteries and other burial tasks than large municipalities, whereas the revenues are only slightly higher. On balance per capital burial costs in 2010 averaged 7 euro for municipalities with fewer than 10 thousand inhabitants versus 1 euro for municipalities with more than 100 thousand inhabitants.
The relatively high net burial costs for small municipalities are due to the obligation for every municipality, no matter how small, to have a public cemetery for all its inhabitants. Small municipalities have fewer inhabitants that can share the costs of maintaining and managing the cemeteries than larger municipalities.
Costs and revenues of municipal cemeteries by municipal size, 2010
Net costs ten times higher in Groningen than in North Brabant
There are great differences between the provinces in terms of the burial costs that municipalities have to finance from public means. On balance, burial tasks cost municipalities in Groningen an average of just over 10 euro per inhabitant, versus just 1 euro in North Brabant. Groningen has many small municipalities, each with their own cemeteries. One in three municipalities in North Brabant does not have a municipal cemetery because many cemeteries in this province are managed by a church or foundation.
Net costs of municipal cemeteries by province, 2010
Paul van der Beek