Humans are visual creatures. It’s one thing to know the cremation rate is increasing in the United States, but it’s quite another to actually see it. A few data crunchers have come up with cool tools that visualize how the cremation rate has changed across the U.S. over the last two decades. Below are a few resources worth checking out.
Slate’s Animated Cremation Rate Map
Slate created a map of the U.S. that morphs to show how the cremation rate changed in each state from 2000 to 2013. As the cremation rate increases in a state the color darkens from pale yellow (<10%) to red (70%+).
With so much emphasis on the growth of cremation in the last 5-10 years, it’s good to see how things were trending before the cremation rate began to rapidly increase. You’ll quickly notice no state is red or red orange (60-69.9%) in 2013. Nevada was the state with the highest cremation rate with 59% of residents choosing to be cremated.
It’s worth noting that less than a decade later in 2022, there were 13 states with a 70%+ cremation rate, and nine states had a cremation rate of 60-69.9% or higher. Today, no states fall into the lowest two categories below 30%.
CANA Color-Coded Maps
Each year the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) releases a report with the latest data on cremation rates in the U.S. and Canada. Part of the report is a pair of color-coded U.S. maps that show how the cremation rate has changed in every state. The most recent CANA Annual Statistics Report shows two maps for comparison: one from 2018 and the other from 2022.
Looking at the maps it’s easy to see that the cremation rate is increasing the fastest in the southern and northeastern regions of the U.S. Across the country in the west the increase has been less notable. Of course, many of the western states have the highest cremation rates.
NFDA Burial vs Cremation Charts
The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) analyzes annual data from funeral homes in the U.S. Their data doesn’t just look at the cremation rate. The information on how burial compares to cremation is interesting to see.
Their latest Cremation & Burial Report contains two charts that show how the burial rate compares to the cremation rate. There’s also predictive data that tracks potential future rates into 2040. One chart is an overview showing the trajectory of the cremation rate and burial rate since 2005. The simple two-line chart makes it very clear that the cremation and burial rates have completely flipped.
The other chart is a table with a state-by-state breakdown of the burial rate and cremation rate between 2015 and 2022. There are also projections for the years 2025, 2030, 2035 and 2040. This gives you a more granular look at how the cremation rate has changed in each state and how things are likely to trend.
If you’re one of the many people who have decided direct cremation is the best option, then you may want to consider making advanced funeral arrangements. Doing so will make the process much easier for loved ones that will oversee the funeral affairs, and pre-planning funeral services could save you money.
Give us a call or text anytime to discuss arranging a direct cremation in advance or immediately.