Neptune Society always strives to inform families about their options for funeral services and the benefits of choosing cremation. This infographic shows how much the cremation industry has changed in the past two decades and what those changes mean for those planning cremation for themselves or a loved one.
One of the biggest changes comes from data collected by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) which shows in 2017, the rate of cremation in America overtook the rate of burial, meaning that more people are choosing cremation for their final arrangement than are choosing burial. The data shows the doubling of the cremation rate in America over the past 15 years. The preference for cremation is also projected to increase, and by 2035, more than 71% of American funeral plans are expected to include cremation.
Even those who haven’t officially planned their funeral services are showing a preference for cremation. According to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA), 65% of Americans reported that they were “definitely” or “very likely” choosing cremation.
But why all the discussion about cremation now? Well, there appear to be a few key causes for this dramatic shift in how Americans are caring for their loved ones. First, cremation services are far less expensive than burial services. Additionally, many religions have lifted bans on cremation in the past 40 years, which allow families to choose cremation without any conflict with their faith.
Also, as it becomes more common for family members to live long distances from each other, it’s more difficult to visit a grave site in another state or to quickly bring the entire family together for a funeral before a burial. Cremation allows families to share ashes, and memorial services after cremation can be held at any time, making it easier for family to gather together after a loved one has passed away.
Consumer preferences are changing in the sense that people want more control and customization options when planning funeral services in advance. Cremation offers many customization options, as the ashes from cremation can become part of a memorial reef, fused into a diamond ring, pressed into a vinyl record, even launched into space – and more. Families can choose what kind of memorial service they want, including whether they want a casketed funeral beforehand, a cremation with a memorial service afterward, or a cremation with no memorial service at all.
Another reason more families are choosing cremation is that it has less of an environmental impact than burial. Most burials and traditional funerals require embalming, which uses harmful chemicals that can seep into the ground. Burials also require large amounts of land that can never be used for another purpose. Cremation ashes, being made almost entirely from carbon, a mineral found naturally in many living things, are completely harmless and can be scattered or kept almost anywhere, as long as you have permission.
For more information about why so many Americans are choosing cremation, and the benefits of doing so, read through Neptune Society’s free library of cremation articles. For more information about cremation services specifically with Neptune Society, complete an online information request form or get in touch with a nearby office.