In the United States, on average, one million people die every year and more than 40 percent of those families are choosing cremation as the final disposition of their loved ones. That number is expected to increase, rising to nearly 50 percent by 2017. Why are more Americans making the decision to choose cremation? The answer lies in several economic, demographic, social and religious factors.
Traditional burial requires so much more than cremation, thus, simply leaving cremation as a cheaper option. Cremations are often times one-third of the cost of a traditional burial, as caskets, vaults and embalming are not required for cremation.
When a family chooses to follow the path of cremation, it eliminates the additional options a family is required to make when a traditional funeral service is being held. Not only is the cost of ancillary services taken away, but cremated remains don’t have to be buried, making the final cost that much lower without having to purchase a burial plot.
The number of Americans who are moving away from the idea of a traditional American hometown is gradually increasing, leaving those family burial plots waning in popularity. More and more people are traveling and relocating and ties to tradition are just not as strong as they once found themselves. With more Americans living farther from their hometowns and parents, family burial plots are no longer as accessible or needed, turning millions to cremation as a practical and cost-effective way to care for a loved one.
For many religions, cremation is becoming more acceptable as an alternative to traditional burial. While many religions still prefer a traditional burial over cremation, the idea is not frowned upon as it once was.
Faiths who once outlawed the practice, calling it a pagan ritual, are now accepting cremation as an option and viewing this option as less of a violation of the faith’s beliefs.
Americans are living busy lives, leaving little time to spend on planning and carrying out a traditional burial service. For that reason, cremation offers portability and greater flexibility in memorialization services in a way that traditional burial just cannot match. In great contrast to a traditional service, cremation can be performed immediately, but the memorial services can be held at any time, even weeks later. For these reasons, many families choose direct cremation, while other families hold services to accompany the cremation.
As millions of Americans are dying each year, more and more land is needed for the burial services. Cremation allows for an environmentally friendly option. The option of cremation allows for fewer resources to be used, such as land and burial items, therefore tying up less property in the future.