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3 Reasons Why More People are Choosing Cremation Over Burial

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Demand for cremation has outpaced burial for the fourth consecutive year, according to National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA) 2019 report on cremation and burial.

By 2040, the U.S. cremation rate is projected to be at 78%. The burial rate, meanwhile, is projected to drop to 16%.

So, why do more and more people choose cremation year after year? While there’s not one definitive answer to this question, we explore some of the common reasons for choosing cremation below.


In recent years, funeral homes and crematories have expanded their offerings to meet the needs of today’s cost-conscious consumer.

While generally lower cost than burial, cremation costs vary greatly depending on the products and packages selected.

Some facilities now offer simple cremation, a disposition method without a formal service conducted before or after the process. It’s often cheaper than other disposition options because you avoid common costs, such as embalming of the body. However, many facilities also offer partial and full cremation

The costs associated with these packages can include:

  • Transfer of the deceased.
  • Services of licensed professional and staff.
  • Dignified care of the deceased (embalming, refrigeration).
  • Selected services (visitation, wake, funeral, gathering, memorial).
  • Cremation container (urn, cremation casket, cremation vault).
  • Final resting place (columbarium, mausoleum, plot).

Additional fees may include:

  • Remembrance items (decorative keepsakes, jewelry, thumbprints, necklaces, memorial candles, flowers, personalized portraits, etc.).
  • Stationary products (register books, memorial folders, service bulletin).
  • Catered event.

With cremation, you can rent certain items to save money, but final costs can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.

Religious Acceptance

While cremation grows in popularity nationwide, certain religious groups have not always been in acceptance of this practice.

The Catholic Church, for example, rejected and officially condemned the common practice of cremation in 1886, as it was not compatible with the doctrine of the bodily resurrection. Since then, the church has evolved its position to permit cremation.

In 2016, the Vatican issued guidelines, approved by Pope Francis, acknowledging the continuous rise in cremation and offering standards to follow. This growing religious acceptance has caused more people of various faiths to opt for cremation.

Memorialization Options

When it comes to cremation, there are endless possibilities for memorialization. Now that’s not to say you can’t memorialize a loved one who has chosen burial, but cremation provides more flexibility for final resting places. 

For example, the following are ways to memorialize cremated remains:

  • Store in an urn.
  • Scatter on land.
  • Float on water.
  • Plant in a garden.
  • Disperse by plane.
  • Place in a columbarium.

While there are rules and regulations associated with scattering, this disposition method offers a unique way for friends and family members to connect with the deceased even after their passing.  

You can also place a portion of cremated in jewelry, such as necklaces and rings with personalized designs. The keepsakes are filled or infused with cremated remains to keep your loved one close.

While there are other reasons for choosing cremation over burial, remember this process is irreversible. Talk with your loved ones before choosing cremation as your preferred final disposition.  

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Cremation

When it comes to cremation, it’s important to understand the common prices and terms. To learn everything you need to know before arranging a cremation, download Cremation Costs Explained: How to Get the Best Value Without Sacrificing Service. This guide will help you understand your options with cremation, and assist you as you choose a plan that fits your needs and wishes.

Download our cremation costs explained guide

Jim Busch
Jim Busch
Owner and president of our firm. Fourth generation funeral director and certified crematory operator, Jim is guided by his principles in faith, family and friends. He loves to hear feedback from our families. Proudly serving Busch families since 1986.

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