Cremation Trends and Statistics


More and more people are opting for an urn rather than a casket. A study by the Cremation Association of North America found that twenty years ago 14.28% of deaths in the United States went toward cremation. Preliminary results from 2005 indicate the cremation rate across the country has more than doubled, to 31.99%, since then.

The NFDA has put together a very interesting statistics report on international cremation as well as American cremation numbers.

More Americans - 48.2% - are choosing cremation more than ever before. This includes Roman Catholics, whose church only began allowing cremation in 1963. In one poll, 48.2% of Americans said they preferred cremation and 45.8% said they wanted a traditional burial. The cremation association states that people are becoming more aware of cremation. See large jump by the NFDA Cremation Stats into 2030:

NFDA Cremation StatsNFDA Cremation Stats to 2030

There are estimated reasons why people are flocking toward cremation. More people are becoming more eco friendly and environmentally aware. With biodegradable urns, there are many personal ways to commemorate a loved one while regarding the wellness of our ecosystem. Cremation has become acceptable both socially and in the Catholic religion. There is greater flexibility in memorial services because cremated remains can be divided for the usage of remembrance in a variety of urns and keepsakes. Cremation also allows for the remains to be placed in a place of significance to the deceased. Cremation can also be more economical, because a simple container can be used in place of an expensive casket; there is no cost associated with the purchase and perpetual care of a grave site, or tombstone. The International Cemetery and Funeral Association says a traditional burial funeral service costs an average of $6,500. A basic cremation costs $500 to $1100.

According to the cremation association, many choose cremation because of the options it allows. About 39% who want cremation also want their ashes scattered, 16% want their ashes buried, 10% want the urn kept at home, 8% want them placed in a cemetery's columbarium, 1% want them placed in a church columbarium, and the remaining don't have specific plans for their ashes. Also, about 30% of those who want to be cremated say it's because it saves money, 13% say it's because it saves land, and 8% say it's because it is simpler.

The incredible discomfort in dealing with the economical and political side of death can be daunting. Regardless of your beliefs, the belief in a religion supports the idea that there can be answers for life and for death. Since there is no sure path to saying goodbye to a loved one, all we can do is represent them in a way that signifies the light in which they walked in - in their own unique way.