Original post by uk.businessinsider.com – Chris Weller. We can finally put the dad joke to rest: People are no longer dying to get into cemeteries.
Year over year, cremation is proving itself as the preferred destination after death, particularly for its low cost, small environmental footprint, and logistical ease.
And unless funeral directors figure out how to disrupt their own industry, they risk losing footing to a method that has now become the default option.
Data from the National Funeral Directors Association show 2015 is the first year cremations beat out burials in terms of popularity, at 48.5% over 45.6%. Over time that trend will only accelerate, NFDA predicts.
By 2020, cremations will control 56.2% of the death market share. By 2030, they’ll be the preferred choice for 71% of the US population.
Underlying these statistics are broader societal trends.
We are becoming more eco-friendly, thinking not just of ourselves but the planet that will absorb the chemicals coating our casket and the embalming fluid pooling in our bodies.
We’re also more cost-conscious, which means spending upward of $10,000 on a funeral service no longer has the appeal when cremation costs a fraction of that.
And we are less religious, which means death — along with the ceremonies that follow — begin to lose their sanctity.
The death of a tradition
Elizabeth Fournier has been a mortician for 25 years at Cornerstone Funeral Services and Cremation in Boring, Oregon. Her state has the third-highest rate of cremations in the country and the lowest rate of burials. It stands in direct contrast to Mississippi, where nearly 80% of people choose to be buried.
Why the gap?
“A lot of people migrate to the west coast,” Fournier says.
In building families in California, Oregon, and Washington, people tend to leave behind their southern and East Coast legacies. For the ones that stay, tradition continues to dominate the culture.
“Families stay in Texas, they stay in Alabama, they stay in Mississippi,” Fournier says. “And you do what the people did before you.”