The annual NFDA Cremation and Burial Report raised the curtain to some interesting data indicating that the cremation practices in the USA are on the rise. According to the 2018 report, the cremation rate is 53.5 percent, while 40.5 percent of Americans opted for burial, down from 45.4 percent in 2015. The report predicts that by 2035, the cremation rate in the northern area of the country will exceed a rate greater than 80 percent, as several southern states that selects the burial as a preferable practice, will increase up to 50 percent. Overall, the data predicts that in 20 years from now, the cremation percentage will raise approximately by 30 percent.
It shows the changing consumer's preferences for the end-of –life practices, which reasons can be traced back to the accessible prices, the various options for the cremains to be preserved, scattered, kept in a cremation urn for ashes, etc. These factors subsequently led to shift in the funeral business path. According to the report, the demand has forced many funeral agencies and manufacturers to expand their offers and product portfolios in order to meet the needs of the consumers.
The NFDA's observations assumes that this shift in the customer's preferences would be a game-changer in “the death care industry”, having a positive effect on the e-commerce with a 7.8 % increase. Additionally, the report shows that Americans who are not religious are more likely to consider a cremation for their family and friends. However, cremation ceremonies and religion are not always mutually exclusive. The Vatican explicitly allowed the practice of cremation in 1963, even though keeping a cremation urn for ashes at home is not legal in many countries.
These annual reports are an important data source for many funeral agencies, crematoriums and funeral memorials manufacturers that are trying to develop a modern business guidelines. For instance, the NFDA report states that more and more funeral homes are installing a cremation equipment, which is an example of how the business is trying to catch up with the raising trend of cremation.
However, one should be careful when gathering and using date on the Internet, especially for the funeral sector. Often, even the reliability of Wikipedia is being questioned. A fresh example of that is the research made by R. Allison who dug out some inconsistent information in Wikipedia's article “List of countries by cremation rate”. (For more you can read the whole article here ).
The updated information, which is hopefully correct, can be found at this link
In addition, as the cremation gains more and more popularity through Americans, the necessity for new original products and eco- friendly services is also growing. Nontraditional memorial urns for ashes with art design are also gaining popularity, as they are suitable for home and most of them actually look as a piece of art rather than an urn.
Because of price, space and other reasons, cremation is a decision more and more Americans are making.