Cremations are on the rise across the country and Texas is no exception. In fact, Texas was the no. 1 state for cremation growth from 2006 to 2011, according to the Cremation Association of North America.
In 2010, cremations in the state numbered over 50,000 – a sizeable number for a Bible Belt state – making it the third highest state, behind California and Florida, in terms of total cremations.
The rate of cremation in Texas is currently around 35 percent and is expected to rise to 40 percent by 2016. In many Texas cities, including Dallas, Forth Worth, and Houston, more families are choosing cremation over traditional burials for a number of reasons.
Cremation is not as taboo as it used to be. Religious tolerance on the practice of cremation has led to more cremations in Dallas and other major Texas cities, but some families are choosing to couple cremation with memorial services to ensure their deceased loved ones are respectfully treated and remembered. Families also have cremated remains interred in a cemetery plot or columbarium.
Relocation trends are another factor contributing to the higher number of cremations in Texas. The sprawling Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex is one of the biggest in the country and, as more people move around the city to various suburbs, or to a different Texas city, for work, school, relationships, or other reasons. The flexible nature of cremation and the fact that it allows families to easily transport remains makes cremation the preferred option.
A third reason for the rising number of Dallas cremations is the increasing interest in environmentally friendly and sustainable options. “Don’t Mess With Texas” is a big motto in the state and green alternatives are gaining popularity. As a greener alternative to burial, cremation is a desirable option for those wanting to conserve land and materials normally required for burials.
A major trend in modern cremations is the ability to personalize a cremation service and options to meet a family’s needs and tastes. Cremation offers the chance to scatter ashes in a meaningful place. Additionally, there are a number of possibilities for final disposition other than storing remains in a decorative urn. Keepsake jewelry is now popular and some people even have their ashes made into a diamond! In Dallas, where big personas reside and thrive, personalized options are highly desirable – in life as well as death.
Cost is another major factor in cremation growth. While the average funeral costs $7,000 to $8,000, cremation costs remain low at six to eight times less than that of the average funeral. However, many Texas families with enough money for burial continue to choose cremations over burials, largely due to the other factors above.
Texas still lies in the middle of the pack when it comes to cremation rates across the country, but the growing number of cremations in Dallas and elsewhere in the state is a significant indicator of future trends.