Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn A Modern Vision for an Historic Cemetery - Page 22
Did you know...?
By Bree D. Harvey, Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services
Cremation is on the rise in the U.S. in
preparation for this rapid growth in the national and
regional cremation rate, Mount Auburn is set to open
its new state-of-the-art crematory later this year and is
continuing to create new unique and innovative spaces
designed specifically for the burial of cremated remains.
Here are a few interesting national statistics that have
helped Mount Auburn inform its cremation-related
• In 2017, the U.S. cremation rate was 51.6%. By
comparison, the 2017 cremation rate in Canada
• By 2030, the U.S. cremation rate is predicted to
• At 47.1%, Massachusetts’ annual rate of cremation is
the lowest of all New England states. By comparison,
the 2017 rates in the rest of the region were as follows:
Maine - 75.9%; New Hampshire - 73.8%; Vermont -
70.6%; Connecticut - 55.4%, and Rhode Island - 47.8%.
• Though it currently has the lowest cremation rate in the
New England region, Massachusetts is in a period of
rapid growth and its annual cremation rate is expected to
grow dramatically in the next decade.
• Mount Auburn’s crematory is one of 24 in the state.
By state law, only cemeteries may own and operate
crematories in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
20 | Sweet Auburn
• Communities that have more readily adopted cremation
tend to be more transient with a higher exposure to new
traditions regarding death and burial. Here are some of
the key demographic factors these communities have in
- Less religious affiliation
- More affiliation with non-Christian religions
- More small businesses owned by women
- Higher household incomes
- Higher immigrant population and more
non-English speaking residents
- Higher average education level
- Less home ownership
- Higher home values
• Of the individuals who are cremated:
- 1 / 3 are then buried
- 1 / 3 are then scattered
- 1 / 3 are kept by families
• Mount Auburn offers many options for the burial of cre-
mated remains. Hazel Path, currently under construction,
will provide cremation burial space for approximately
400 individuals along a beautiful woodland path offering
a spectacular view of the Boston skyline (see page 4–5
for more info).
Statistics extracted from the Cremation Association of North America’s Annual
Statistics Report (2018).