Cremation rates soar in difficult economy
The cremation rate has been on a steady upward swing since 1985, nearly doubling from 14.9% to 29.5% in 2003 and then reaching 34.3% in 2007, according to the Cremation Assn. of North America. The percentage is projected to reach 44.4% by 2015 and then 55.6% by 2025.
At the moment, 41% of families choose the option, many due to financial pressures, according to the New York Times.
Last year, more than half of grieving families said they’d choose cremation, compared with 31% in 1991, according to the Funeral and Memorialization Information Council. A third of those people — up from 19% in 1990 — said cost was a primary factor.
At the Cremation Society of Los Angeles, family members pay $698 for cremation, including all coroner and death certificate fees and body transport. Immediate burial options at Rice Mortuary in Torrance range from $2,095 to $8,090.
— Tiffany Hsu
Photo: Actress Farrah Fawcett went the traditional route with a casket in 2009. Credit: Kirk D. McKoy / Los Angeles Times