This year, cremation has surpassed burial by roughly three percent in the United States. Currently 48% of Americans are being cremated, with estimates predicting that that number will rise to 70% by 2030. That signals a huge cultural shift an is reflective of the social norms that abound today. If you are wondering why the numbers have increased so dramatically, here are some reasons:
Cremation is undoubtedly cheaper; it is estimated that cremation will cost a third of the price of a burial. End of life costs are notoriously and rightfully a huge concern for families and individuals and cremation offers to lesson this stressor. Many individuals are even opting to make the decision to be cremated as part of their end of life planning, easing any unnecessary guilt their loved ones may feel for choosing the less costly option.
2. Grave site Maintenance
Not only is burial more expensive, there is also the consideration of grave site maintenance. For many, this is a substantial commitment, especially if the burial site is not or will not be near to their place of living. Cremation allows for more flexibility and addresses these concerns entirely.
3. More Acceptance from Faith
For some Americans, cremation was not an option due to the restrictions placed by their religious authorities. While this is still the case for some, in many cases the restrictions have been lifted, allowing for more end of life options. Furthermore, many more Americans have moved away from strict religious affiliation and are much more amenable to the idea of cremation.
4. Environmental Concerns
Although not all cremations are environmentally safe, it is certainly a more sustainable option than burial. Many people are not supportive of placing harmful chemicals, associated with embalming, into the earth and cremation assures that this will be avoided.
5. Flexibility and Personalization
Cremains can be scattered in various ways and in various places, they can also be taken along when a family relocates. There is also the option of creative disposals, including creating jewelry and art, or carrying on a legacy of environmentalism through being infused into coral reefs or grown into trees. The possibilities are various and many are much more likely to be in keeping with individual preferences and personalities.
Whether cremation is something that you have considered before or it is an entirely new thought, there is no denying that many more Americans are finding what they are looking for in this flexible and customizable option.