Cremation Increasing in Popularity

Graph from the Cremation Association of North America (CANA)


The rate of cremation in the US is at an all time high, according to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA). Their cremation statistics for 2011 have been compiled and published, showing that cremation continues to rise in popularity. The number of cremations done last year in the U.S. exceeded 1 million, an all time high.

CANA’s report breaks down the cremation rates for areas throughout North America. Rates for the U.S. rose from 40.6 % in 2010 to 42.1% in 2011. Cremation proves to be even more popular in Canada where rates increased from 58.2% in 2010 to 59.2% in 2011. Canada’s province with the highest cremation rate is British Columbia at 80.6%.

In 2011, the top ten states with the most cremations were:
  1. California – 131,140 cremations
  2. Florida – 101,697 cremations
  3. Texas – 53,245 cremations
  4. New York – 50,333 cremations
  5. Pennsylvania – 44,513 cremations
  6. Michigan – 41,678 cremations
  7. Ohio – 38,404 cremations
  8. Illinois -35,274 cremations
  9. Washington – 34,019 cremations
  10. Arizona – 28,654 cremations
In 2011, the top ten states with the highest cremation rates were:
  1. Nevada – 72.2%
  2. Washington – 70.9%
  3. Oregon – 69.4%
  4. Hawaii – 69.1%
  5. Montana – 65.7%
  6. Maine – 63.9%
  7. Colorado – 63.3%
  8. Arizona – 62.5%
  9. New Hampshire – 61.6%
  10. Alaska – 61.1%
In 2011, the five states with the lowest cremation rates were:
  1. Mississippi – 13.8% cremation
  2. Alabama – 17.2% cremation
  3. Kentucky – 20.8% cremation
  4. Louisiana – 21.2% cremation
  5. West Virginia – 23.2% cremation

Cremation appears to be more widely accepted in the West (Pacific and Mountain regions), including Alaska and Hawaii, and in the Northeast. Southerners, however, tend toward non-cremation methods as the South has the lowest rates in the nation.

This report also lists the top five factors that come into play when a consumer is choosing whether to cremate. These factors are:

  1. Cost (Cremation services are typically substantially less expensive than traditional burials)
  2. Range of Memorialization Options (There is a wider range of options available with cremation, including Memory Glass’ own glass cremation memorials, scattering, cremation jewelry and urns)
  3. Environmental Impact (Traditional burials require land consumption)
  4. Geography (Our mobile society prefers to bring loved ones along when they move)
  5. Religious Acceptance (Religions are becoming more tolerant of alternative choices to burial)
For a closer look at more cremation statistics for 2011, go to CANA’s complete report.
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