Which U.S States Are Running Out of Burial Space?
Which U.S States Are Running Out of Burial Space

Countries around the world are coming up with creative ways to deal with lack of burial space. The United States is among those countries, but some states are feeling the strain more than others. Which states are running out of burial sites the fastest? Let’s find out.

Factors That Affect Burial Space in a State

The dwindling supply of burial space isn’t just a matter of how much land a state has, although that is a huge factor. Other things that have to be considered include:

  • Number of cemeteries
  • Cremation rate
  • Population
  • Death rate

Most states allow for burial on private land, but the bulk of burials occur in a cemetery. Therefore, aeas with fewer cemeteries are going to have less burial space now and in the near future compared to states with a lot of cemeteries. Dividing the number of deaths in the state for a year by the number of cemeteries gives you a good idea of how many burial plots are needed at each cemetery. 

The cremation rate indicates the need for burial space. States with higher rates of cremation will have a lower demand for burial space compared to a state with low cremation rates. 

Population matters as much or more than the land area simply because when there are more people living in an area there are more people dying there too. Which brings us to the death rate. The death rate is simply the number of deaths per year vs the general population. States with a higher death rate will use up burial space at a faster pace. 

Population growth is another indicator for the future. If a state’s population is growing the need for burial space is increasing as well. The problem for some states is that they don’t have enough space to accommodate a growing living population in addition to a growing deceased population. 

States With the Highest Risk of Running Out of Burial Space

When you take all the factors above into consideration the list of states that are most likely to run out of burial space may be surprising. 

#1 – California

Given California’s huge size and higher rate of cremation, you may be surprised to find that California is the state most at risk of running out of burial plots. The reason they top the list is their large population that’s been growing for years. California has the largest population in the country by 10 million people. 

#2 – Hawaii

It makes total sense that Hawaii is on the list given it’s relatively small size and limited amount of land that can be used for burial. The population density and population growth are also high compared to other states. 

# 3 – New York

For decades, New York has been battling the lack of burial land issue. It’s a result of the very high population growth and somewhat high death rate. As more people call New York home more people will also call it their final resting place. It also doesn’t help that much of the population is concentrated in a few urban metropolises. 

# 4 – Florida

A number of cemeteries in Florida, like those in Boynton Beach, have been trying to solve the burial plot shortage problem for nearly a decade. Florida’s population skews older, which gives the state one of the highest death rates in the country. The burial expectancy is also among the highest in the nation so there’s demand for burial space. The population has been on the rise in recent years, which means burial space will become more limited.

# 5 – New Jersey

New Jersey makes the list for three reasons: limited land area, high death rate and fast population growth. The state has one of the fastest growing populations, and more residents mean more deaths and even more demand for burial plots. 

In the coming years, as burial plots are harder to come by and more expensive, we’ll probably hear more about cemeteries that are trying to figure out how to keep offering new gravesites. The issue will also increase the demand for cremation services that don’t require land for a permanent resting place.

Would you like to know more about affordable direct cremation services? Our experts are available to answer your questions and help explain how the cremation process differs from burial.

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