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scattering ashes in the USA

What do Americans do with their ashes?

scattering ashes in the USA
to scatter or to keep?

How many people opt for cremation in North America

Around 40% of North Americans choose cremation, in Canada it is slightly more popular than in the States. This figure varies from state to state, in Oregon the percentage of cremations is over 63%, Hawaii it is 66% whereas Alabama it is down to 9%.  In general the further north the greater the percentage.

Why are Americans choosing cremation? These are the top answers but statistic do vary from source to source so please bear that in mind.

  • money, it is cheaper (~30%)
  • it is simpler, less emotional, and more convenient; (~14%)
  • saving land (~14%)
  • personal preference (6%);
  • religious beliefs
  • don’t want to be buried
  • other reasons cited were concerns for the environment, cold-weather constraints, and ease of transportation to distant burial sites.

To keep or to scatter?

About 40% would choose to scatter their ashes.

Just over 50% would have their ashes kept in a cremation urn. Where the urns are kept break down as:

  • 16% buried at a cemetery
  • 8% a columbarium (a place for the, usually public, storage of cremation urns)
  • 1% in a church columbarium
  • 10% would take the remains home.
  • 14% want to be placed in an urn but where the decision of where it is kept has not been made.

About 10% don’t know whether to scatter or keep

The above is mainly based on statistics from the Cremation Association of North America

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