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Cremation Has Become the Leading Choice of Americans & Continues to Expand

Cremation Has Become the Leading Choice of Americans & Continues to Expand

Cremation recently surpassed burial as the primary choice of Americans. This, however, wasn’t always the case. In 1999, a survey taken by the CANA found that only 25% of American’s were choosing cremation. Fifteen years later, in 2014, another survey was performed revealing that 47% of Americans were choosing cremation over burial. According to the National Funeral Director’s Association, the preference toward cremation is expected to continue to accelerate and grow to nearly 80% of the population by 2035.

But, why? There are many reasons that cremation has become more popular than burial. Religion, environment, cost, and personalization are the key factors in the evolving traditions of burial. Out with the old and in with the new as a younger generation of baby boomers, millennials and generations for years to come change the way we memorialize ourselves and the ones that we love.

While religion and multiple other reasons are huge factors in the changing ideas and evolving traditions, it is the cost of burial versus cremation that arguably plays the largest role in the change. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the 2014 national median rate for an adult funeral is $7,181. If you wish to add a grave liner that cost rises to $8,508, and you may not have a choice. A grave liner is required by some cemeteries. None of these costs counts the burial plot, headstone and other expenses. Costs can be anywhere from $4,000 and $11,600. Costs rise in densely populated urban areas. Compared to cremation the costs of burial is so high that the majority of American’s cannot comfortably afford to be buried. The NFDA has the national median cost for adult funerals with viewing and creation at $6,708. This includes the costs of funeral home, limousine, hearse, printed packaged and other traditional trappings. Without a memorial service cremation can be as low as $1,000 or less.

In addition, younger generations are changing the funeral industry. They are breaking out of the traditional confines of full service funerals/burials and are choosing cremation. The choice to be cremated allows you and your loved ones to have a more personalized memorial. Millennials are statistically less religious than the generations before them so they are known to have a more open (and creative) mind on traditional subjects.

Younger baby boomers and millennials want to personalize the memorials of the people they love. After cremation families have more flexibility, the remains can be easily transported, no time constraints and ashes can be scattered, buried, or placed in keepsakes.

Cremation gives you and your family more options. After you choose an urn, a far more affordable choice than a casket, you will choose where you want it to be placed and how you want your remains handled. Is the urn your final resting place or is it a safe holding spot until you reach your destination? Some people opt for a burial of their ashes. They can be placed in a mausoleum or buried and have a tombstone. This is a popular choice for older generations who choose to be cremated, but still want a place to be laid to rest at a permanent place. A great new burial urn option is called Eco Burial, an all natural bamboo burial urn that, at $59, is an affordable choice.  Another option is to bury your ashes with a Living Urn bio urn and planting system and perform a tree burial to grow a beautiful and enduring memory tree, plant or flowers. This biotree urn option is quickly gaining in popularity throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

Others prefer to leave their remains with a family member. Many people display the urn on the mantel in the living area. This is a great option for people who wish to be scattered later or want to wait for their significant other to pass before they are buried or scattered at a place with some personal meaning. Scattering ashes is a popular choice for many, especially younger individuals who want to be a part of their favorite place. Before you choose this option however you need to make sure that it is legal to do so at the place of your choosing.  A great new scattering urn for ashes option is called Eco Scattering and ranges from $59 to $99.

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