You are going to live longer and your life expectancy in the U.S. is trending upward. A person born today can expect to live eight years longer than someone born in the 1970s.

Cremation Trends are up. Today people are choosing cremation and the trend continues to climb. As cremation is becoming a common choice for Americans, the trend is that more people will opt for cremation rather than a traditional burial.

Fifty years ago, less than 3% of Americans were cremated. In 1985, 14 percent of deaths in the United States went toward cremation. Today, the cremation rate across the country has more than tripled, to over 40 percent. Experts say over 70% of Americans will choose cremation in the next 15 years.

As more Americans are choosing cremation, people of all faiths including Roman Catholics, whose church only began allowing cremation in 1963. In one poll, 42 percent of Americans said they preferred cremation and 40 percent said they wanted a traditional burial. It is both economic and demographic factors, experts say.

Cremation Trends

There are several reasons why people are moving toward cremation. People don’t live in the same hometown. Years ago, families were all buried near each other in family plots and local cemeteries. Having a family cemetery plot is not in the future of today’s memorial service. Cremation is cheaper than burial and it can be attractive for many families.

More people are becoming more eco friendly and environmentally aware. With biodegradable urns, there are many personal ways to commemorate a loved one while regarding the wellness of our ecosystem. There is greater flexibility in memorial services because cremated remains can be divided for the usage of remembrance in a variety of urns and keepsakes. Cremation also allows for the remains to be placed in a place of significance to the deceased.

The National Funeral Directors Association says a traditional burial funeral service costs an average of $6,500. A basic cremation costs $1200 to $1800.

About 39 percent who want cremation also want their ashes scattered, 16 percent want their ashes buried, 10 percent want the urn kept at home, 8 percent want them placed in a cemetery’s columbarium, 1 percent want them placed in a church columbarium, and the remaining don’t have specific plans for their ashes. Also, about 30 percent of those who want to be cremated say it’s because it saves money, 13 percent say it’s because it saves land, and 8 percent say it’s because it is simpler.

Regardless of your beliefs, having faith supports the idea that there can be answers for life and for death. Since there is no sure path to saying goodbye to a loved one, all we can do is represent them in a way that signifies the light in which they walked in- in their own unique way.