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 percent 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 percent, since then.

The European Federation of Funeral Services has put together a very interesting statistics report on international cremation.

More Americans - 28 percent - are choosing cremation more than ever before. This includes Roman Catholics, whose church only began allowing cremation in 1963. In one poll, 42 percent of Americans said they preferred cremation and 40 percent said they wanted a traditional burial. The cremation association states that people are becoming more aware of cremation.


United States Data
Year   Cremations       % of all deaths
1998 553,000 24.1%
1999 598,721 25.0%
2000 est. 604,828 25.5%
2010 proj. 1,552,800 40%
Canadian Data
Year   Cremations       % of all deaths
1998 213,004 42.4%
1999 221,650 N/A
2000 est. N/A 42.7%
2010 proj. 1,552,800 47.4%




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 $800.

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