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 financial projections: • In 2017, the U.S. cremation rate was 51.6%. By comparison, the 2017 cremation rate in Canada was 70.5%. • By 2030, the U.S. cremation rate is predicted to reach 70%. • 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 common: - 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).