Cremation is a Growing Trend in NJ [AUDIO]
The struggling economy has been forcing people to cut costs at every opportunity, even when it comes to saying goodbye to those who have passed on. In New Jersey, the cremation rate has been rising for the last 25 years by an annual increase of 1.25%.
"About one out of every three funerals in New Jersey results in a disposition by cremation," said Wilson Beebe, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association.
Funeral expenses in the Garden State, featuring some type of casket, can cost a family anywhere from four to eleven thousand dollars. That figure does not count what happens with the body after the service.
"The cost of a burial is going to range between $1,200 and $4,000 on top of that," Beebe explained. "The cremation costs are in the area of $300. You can see that there is a difference."
However, Beebe said the cremation trend is a result of many factors, not just money.
"For a lot of people, it's just a preferred form of disposition. They like the idea of it being straightforward," said Beebe.
He said many families also don't have the same connection to cemeteries and plots like they had in the past.
The jump in cremations has not only been in seen in New Jersey, but across the nation. In 2011, more than 40 percent of Americans who passed away were cremated. In some states, the rate topped 70 percent.
Funeral service in New Jersey takes in about $375 million per year. In inflation-adjusted dollars, service prices have remained relatively the same over the past two decades. In the last ten years, the number of deaths in the state has declined significantly.