THE RISE OF CREMATIONS IN THE DEATH CARE INDUSTRY

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About 2.5 million or 8 in every 1000 people die each year in the United States and of those, roughly 40% are cremated. Fifteen years ago the number of cremations was about half that. In the last 30 years, growth in the death care industry has overwhelmingly been fueled by cremation, and this trend is expected to continue for at least the next 25 years.

The death care industry is comprised of about 130,000 workers and generates 17 billion dollars annually. Industry statistics are, of course, shaped by the rise and fall of populations and the associated rates of death. Often, an upturn in the population is balanced out by a rise in the death rate, a percentage of the increased population. However, when less people die the resulting population increase carries with it a certain percentage of predictable deaths, maintaining a balance. The delicate statistical equilibrium of life and death is preserved.

Every state in the nation is experiencing a sizable increase in the rate of cremations compared to a more modest growth within the casket industry. A primary reason for this discrepancy is our increasingly mobile society. As family members die, they are less often to find their eternal rest in the family plot or hometown cemetery. Cremation is widely considered more convenient and disposition in an urn is the perfect solution for surviving family members on the move.

Sometimes, the figures are surprising. In the past 20 years, the number of deaths in Nevada has doubled annually but only 17% of those cases were casket burials. In contrast, cremations tripled, maintaining a 200% increase during the same time period. Similar trends also appeared in states where the annual number of deaths increased only modestly for the same time period. For instance, the annual death rate in Mississippi rose only 16% with 2% attributed to casket burials. By comparison, the cremation rate topped out at almost 800%. Ultimately, cremations accounted for nearly the entire growth rate within the U.S. death care industry.

Even in a declining market casket burials will continue to be an option, forcing increased competition for the occasional demand. But the real opportunity lies in the rapidly expanding market for cremations.

U.S. Cremation Equipment, Altamonte Springs, FL is responding to such demand by providing technologically advanced cremation equipment for both the domestic and international markets. The equipment has been proven to reduce costs, increase productivity and minimize emissions. Customers include funeral homes, crematories, mortuaries, cemeteries, veterinarians and animal researchers.

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