The cremation rate in the USA in 2012 was 43%, quite a bit higher than I would have guessed. Cremation costs are significantly lower than casket and burial costs – perhaps 20-30% (the national average cremation costs were $1,650 in 2012). Direct cremation, without a memorial service, should cost below $1,000.
Cremation rates have been increasing over time and are projected to continue doing so. In 1998 the cremation rate was just 24% is the USA.
There is a quite a variation between states. Nevada had a 74% cremation rate, Washington 73%, Oregon 71%, Hawaii 70%, Maine 69%, Louisiana 23%, Kentucky 22%, Alabama 20%, Mississippi 17%.
International cremation statistics for 2010: Japan 99.94%, UK 73%, China 49%, France 13%.
Related: Make Your Own Coffin – Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death – Shopping for Funeral Services
Data from: Cremation Association of North America and International cremation stats