An important source of data regarding American funeral practices is the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the oldest and largest of the funeral industry trade associations. The NFDA publishes a periodic report on cremation and burials, drawn from government vital statistics records and surveys of funeral homes, crematories, and consumers.
While the report focuses on information for funeral home managers to serve customers and plan for the future, it also gives another piece of the broader picture of what Americans are doing when they have to make funeral arrangements.
Disposition of Ashes After Cremation
|Returned To Family||39.0||38.0|
|Scattered At Non- Cemetery Location||19.8||20.2|
|Buried Or Scattered At Cemetery||38.7||37.9|
|Placed In Columbarium Niche||8.6||7.4|
Tracking with what we’ve heard from the CANA experts, a solid majority of about 60 percent of cremation customers are bypassing the cemetery—at the beginning of the process, at least—and taking the ashes home with them, either to scatter or keep.