Cremation vs Burial

Cremation vs Burial

The decision between cremating and burying loved ones remains a very personal one in the United States. Most people don’t even like to discuss their plans for their final resting place until their later years. Even then, it comes down to finances, personal preferences and religious beliefs.

Studies show cremation is on the rise. In 2010, the cremation rate was over 40 percent. This number has risen steadily in the past several decades. The reasons for which people gravitate toward cremation are also gaining importance. Let’s have a look at some determining factors that help explain why people choose cremation over burial.


According to the 2012 Cremation Association of North America annual report, money was a leading reason people chose cremations over burial. Although there are cases where cremation can be more expensive depending on the services and products desired by the family, in general, cremation is cheaper than burial.

The national average for burial is $7,300 (including embalming, casket, vault and other commonly requested services), whereas the national average for a cremation is only $1,650.

Burial – Burial costs typically include a casket, liner, rental costs of funeral home, embalming, grave site, printed items, death certificate, cemetery proceedings and clergy. It does not include gravesite, burial vault and headstone/grave marker.

Cremation – Typically, cremation costs include the cremation process and a basic urn. Similar to traditional funerals, families can choose who elaborate they want the process to be. A direct cremation (versus a direct burial) involves the family planning their own person memorial and is the least expensive option. Many also choose to have a traditional memorial, including a visitation, flowers and decorative urn.


Nevada leads the nation with highest percentage of cremations at 72 percent. Other states with high percentages of cremations are Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Maine and Colorado. Pacific states lead the country in highest cremations per death. South Atlantic states are at the low end. In 2011, the rate for Texas was 32 percent and 56 percent in California.

Urn Portability

Some people like to have the possibility of taking their deceased loved ones with them in the event they move. Burying loved ones means an expensive exhumation and transfer process if the family relocates and wishes to have their loved one’s grave nearby.

There are a number of reasons why you may choose cremation over burial. If you are in the process of planning a funeral, please contact us to find out more about our cremation services. We provide affordable, quality cremation services in Texas including Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Waco.


Source: Annual Statistics Report 2011, Cremation Association of North America
Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.

Mary Beth Barnett

Mary Beth Barnett is a licensed Funeral Director in Texas. Her involvement with aCremation began before our doors opened – researching how we could provide affordable cremations and still keep quality and service standards high. Through this process, she developed a passion for working with families who are going through one of the most stressful phases of life – planning for death.

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