All About Cremation | Cremation Society of St. Louis

Cremation in Today's Societies

It’s true that increasing numbers of people are turning to cremation, yet there remains a wide variety of cultural, religious, economic and regional factors that influence the decision. This can be seen with a quick look at cremation rates around the world.

Cremation Worldwide

These number are the most recent we have, dating by and large from 2008, and derive from a number of different sources, including the Internet.

  • Japan (99%)
  • Cremation in Switzerland (75%)
  • Hong Kong (83%)
  • Czech Republic (77%)
  • Singapore (77 %)
  • United Kingdom (72 %)
  • New Zealand (70%)
  • Canada (68%)
  • Australia (65%)

Note: The rates vary greatly among the provinces with the most recent (1999) province level statistics showing that British Columbia had the highest rate at 74% while Prince Edward Island had the lowest rate at 8.5%.

  • China (48%)
  • Argentina (14 %)
  • Ireland (6 %)
  • Italy (7 %)
  • South Africa (6 %)

Cremation in the United States 

The cremation rate in the United States has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 24.10% in 1998 to 36.86% in 2009 and projections from the National Funeral Directors Association forecasting a rate of 46.04% in 2015 and 58.85% in 2025. However, the rates vary considerably among the states with the highest rates (over 60%) being reported in the western states with the lowest rates (under 25%) being reported in the southern states.