The Cremation Association of North America continues its commitment to providing accurate and comprehensive cremation statistics to the death-care profession and consumers. With over 20 years of data collection from state and provincial vital statistics departments, CANA’s cremation statistics are widely regarded as the most reliable and current in the field. The latest reports for 2022 have been released, featuring final 2021 cremation data, newly released 2022 data, and projections to 2027 and 2032.
In 2020 and 2021, the world faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CANA’s disposition data from 2022 shows that those two years were outliers, with unique circumstances influencing death and cremation numbers. However, the growth rate of cremation has remained steady and predictable throughout this otherwise unpredictable era. Now, as the effects of the pandemic begin to subside, death and cremation numbers are aligning with pre-pandemic growth patterns.
Analyzing the national data for 2022, CANA cannot confidently determine a clear “pull forward” effect, which refers to excess deaths in one year resulting in fewer deaths in subsequent years. While data suggest this effect may have occurred in some states or regions, anecdotal reports from CANA members indicate fewer-than-expected deaths toward the end of 2022 and into 2023.
Slowing Cremation Growth Rates
Notably, 2022 marked the first year in which more than 10 states experienced a growth rate of less than 1%, possibly indicating a slowdown in the state cremation growth rate around 70% and a significant slowdown around 80%.
Cremation rates vary across states, but CANA’s previous predications on growth patterns following an s-curve appear to hold true. The tipping point for growth acceleration is around 40%. Before that point, annual cremation growth is slow, closer to 1% on average. As 40% draws nearer, the cremation growth rate increases significantly and averages between 1.5 and 2% annually — almost following a straight line. It is expected that the growth rate will remain high until the cremation rate reaches 60%, after which it will slow significantly.
In 2022, the U.S. cremation rate reached 59.0%. While it remains to be seen how closely the national cremation rate will align with state patterns to slow in the coming years, there are indications of a potential plateau between 70 and 80%. CANA will continue to monitor and analyze the data, providing valuable insights into the cremation industry’s future trends.
About CANA Research
The Cremation Association of North America publishes the Annual Cremation Statistics Report and other research to monitor trends in the profession. This research is often used by the media to shape their articles and by CANA’s members to guide their future business plans. CANA research is available exclusively for members of the association. For more information on CANA’s statistics, visit https://www.cremationassociation.org/IndustryStatistics.
CANA members can read the full report in the The Cremationist or log in to https://www.cremationassociation.org/CremationistMagazine.