The latest cremation statistics from the Cremation Association of North America show that in 2020, New Hampshire had a cremation rate of 77.5%, the fifth highest in the nation. The average cost of cremation in NH is between $2,500 and $3,000. With Covid-19 and other factors, the cremation rate in 2021 likely exceeded 80%, but those numbers won’t be available until 2023. Vermont was 10th in the nation for cremations with 74.4% Maine was 80.2%, the second highest in the U.S. behind Nevada at 81.6%.
Nationwide, there were more than 1.9 million cremations. The cremation rate for the U.S. in 2021 was 57.5%. Last year was the first year that any U.S. state topped an 80% cremation rate. Mississippi had the lowest cremation rate at 29%.
There are five top reasons why cremation is on the rise.
Cost of cremation in NH
Cost is often a concern for a family dealing with a death. Funerals can be a significant financial burden and there is no question that cremation is cheaper. While cremation costs currently average around $2,800, traditional burials can cost more than $10,000.
Choosing cremation can reduce some of the stress of the end-of-life experience for the family, since money becomes less of a concern. Many people even choose cremation as part of their end-of-life planning, easing any unnecessary guilt their loved ones may feel for choosing a less-costly option.
Flexibility and personalization
Whether cremation is something that you have considered before or not, there is no denying that more people are looking for a flexible and customizable end-of-life option.
There may be a special way you want to remember your loved one that does not involve a visit to a gravesite. There are a variety of ways in which a loved one can be memorialized, and cremation offers an easy way to make this happen.
Cremated remains may be scattered at a favorite location or at sea, kept at home or mixed in with seeds to grow a tree.
Some people choose to have artwork or jewelry created that contain some of the remains, while others have found peace and a sense of helping nature by arranging for cremated remains to be infused into coral reefs or grown into various wildlife. The possibilities are growing.
Although cremation does not have a totally positive impact on the environment, it is a more-sustainable option than burial. Many people are not supportive of placing chemicals — typically associated with embalming — into the earth. Cremation assures this will be avoided. In addition, a select few crematories in NH and VT purchase carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint
There are options for burying cremated remains without damaging the earth, such as choosing an environmentally-friendly burial pod. After burial, these naturally-derived containers break down over time until they are absorbed back into the earth. A living urn that also contains plant life is another earth-friendly option, where remains are used to nourish the life of a tree or plants. This choice not only gives back to the earth; it allows the person to live on.
More acceptance from faith
For many years, cremation was not an option for some due to religious restrictions. While this is still the case for a handful of religions, in many cases restrictions have been lifted, allowing for more end-of-life options. Further, many Americans have drifted away from stricter religious beliefs and are much more amenable to the idea of cremation.
Not long ago, the Catholic Church altered its stance on cremation, allowing the practice while regulating what should happen with the remains, specifically that they ideally be interred at a church cemetery.
Gravesite permanence and maintenance
If a loved one is buried, the remains are forever interred in a particular place. With families so frequently living spread out across the country or even the world, this may no longer be the ideal situation. Additionally, a burial site may not have much meaning to either the deceased or their family. Cremation allows the family to decide how a loved one is remembered and also where their remains will rest.
There is also the consideration of gravesite maintenance. For many, this is a substantial commitment, especially if the burial site is not or will not be near where they live.
Cremation allows for more flexibility and entirely addresses these concerns.
Although it is gaining in popularity, many people still have questions about cremation and the events surrounding it. As the premiere provider of cremation services in New Hampshire, we have gathered our collective knowledge and experience to answer some of the most common questions here.