I read a recent article in Slate about the growing trend towards cremation instead of burial. This was no surprise to me, but some of the reasons behind the trend were. They include cost (cremations are roughly half the price of burials), a more mobile population (less connection to a particular town and its graveyard) and the one I’d expected, land use:
Third, concern over land use is helping tip the scales in favor of cremation. “The idea of taking up space in cemeteries when it could be used for other purposes is contributing to people’s decisions,” Nicodemus says. Some of the highest cremation rates are in ecofriendly coastal states like Hawaii (66 percent) and Washington (64 percent). In California, where SCI has a significant presence, more than half of 2005 deaths resulted in cremations.
It’s also interesting how much cremation rates differ across the US. They’re as high as 65% in Nevada, and as low as 10% in put-dem-in-da-ground-like-a-good-Catholic Mississippi.