More cremations than burials in WisconsinMore people in Wisconsin are now choosing cremation over burial. The trend has those in the cemetery business concerned.
By: By Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
More people in Wisconsin are now choosing cremation over burial. The trend has those in the cemetery business concerned.
Wisconsin statistics show that in 2011, the number of cremations surpassed burials for the first time. It's not by much, but it’s a trend that national funeral directors say has been occurring across the country for decades. Generally, cremation costs less than burial and it may be more convenient for some says William Hoffman. He's the former president of the Wisconsin Cemetery and Cremation Association and now heads Graceland and Union cemeteries in Milwaukee.
“You don't have some of the time sensitivities as to when you’re going to have a service,” Hoffman said. “So people may like that flexibility especially since these days people aren't the way they used to be 50 or 100 years ago. They are scattered all over the place now.”
Hoffman says fewer burials and more cremations are hurting the bottom line of cemeteries around Wisconsin.
“Cemeteries definitely feel a hit,” he said. “There are a lot of things I think that aren't being discussed or thought about in this whole issue. I think cemeteries do offer a benefit to families, to our culture a whole. Having a place to memorialize the life of a loved one.”
The increasing number of cremations is also being driven by environmental concerns related to dwindling land resources.