List of countries by cremation rate

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This article is a list of countries by cremation rate. Cremation rates vary widely across the world with some countries like Japan, Nepal and Thailand having a rate over 95% while majority-Catholic countries like Italy, Ireland and Poland having lower rates. Factors include culture and religion; for example, the cremation rate in Muslim, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic majority countries is much lower due to religious sanctions on cremation, whereas for Hindu or Buddhist majority countries the cremation rate is much higher. Cemetery fees impel towards the choice of cremation.



Cremation is still taboo (rather prohibition) in Zimbabwe. The Bulawayo City Council, the second largest city in Zimbabwe, planned mandatory cremation for those that died before the age of 25. However, this plan was cancelled after many protests from Pentecostal Christian groups.

South Africa[edit]

The rate of cremation is about 12% in Cape Town, which has a significant white population, but it is lower in other parts of the country.[1]


There is a crematorium in Accra, the capital of Ghana, but the cremation rate is low. Pentecostal Christians (the largest religion group in the country) are officially against cremation.


Nairobi has the only crematorium in Kenya. Since Kenya is a Christian majority country, the opposition against cremation comes from the Church.


Cremation is legal in Lagos State.



China reported 4,534,000 cremations out of 9,348,453 deaths (a 48.50% rate) in 2008.[2] The cremation rate was 45.6% for 2014 according to Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs.[3]


Almost all people adhering to Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism cremate their dead, which makes India one of the countries with highest rate of cremation. In India different Indigenous communities follow different funeral practices Further in Hinduism also burial is being practiced for children and Spiritual persons. The rate of cremation is around 84%.[citation needed]


Japan has one of the highest cremation rates in the world with the country reporting a cremation rate of 99.97% in 2014.[4]


Almost everyone adhering to Hinduism and Buddhism cremates their dead, which makes Nepal one of the countries with the highest rate of cremation. The rate of cremation is around 95%.[citation needed]


Given its tiny land area, Singapore has one of the highest cremation rates in the world, reporting a cremation rate of 80.54% in 2018.[5]

South Korea[edit]

South Korea had the cremation rate of 90.5% in 2020. It is increasing as people born later are more likely to be cremated. About 94 percent of those under the age of 60 were cremated, with 99 percent of those in their 20s being cremated in 2014.[6]


According to information from Ministry of Interior, the cremation rate was 92.47% in 2013, 144,162 of the 155,908 deaths that year. [7]


United Kingdom[edit]

The cremation rate in the United Kingdom has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 34.70% in 1960 to 77.05% in 2017.[8]

Nordic countries[edit]

Cremation rates in the Nordic countries vary from Norway's 36% to Finland's 61% in 2021,[9] Sweden's 70% and Denmark's 76%. In all countries the cremation rate in large towns is generally between 70% and 90%.


The first cremation in the Netherlands was performed in 1914. In the hundred years since the cremation rate has risen to 63% in 2014.[10]


The cremation rate in Flanders has increased from a little over 50% in 2010 to 74% in 2020.[11]


Cremation remains a minority practice in rural France where burial places are available, but is increasingly common in urban areas. In 1979 just 1% of funerals involved cremation: in 2012 it was 32%, rising to 45% in Paris.[12]


Cremation has been on the increase in Ireland in the last decade. This is largely due to both the expense of burial plots and their (lack of) availability. In 2017, almost 20% of deaths in Ireland involved cremation.[13] There are five crematoria in Ireland, three of which are located in Dublin (Glasnevin (the first facility of its type in Ireland, established in 1982), Newland's Cross, Harold's Cross), one in Cavan[14] and one in Cork. However, access to these cremation facilities is not restricted to people living in Dublin or Cork. Anyone may arrange for a cremation to take place in any of these crematoria.[15] Another crematorium opened in Shannon in 2017.


Cremations are booming in Spain: in 2006, just 16% of deaths involved cremation, but by 2016 that figure had risen to 36%.[16] Around half of all deceased are cremated in Barcelona.[17] In 2019, the total number of deaths was 417,000, of which 44% were cremated.


The first crematorium in Portugal opened in 1925, but was closed in 1936. In 1985, it was reopened. Currently (2018 data), 20% of the deceased in Portugal are cremated. In 2005 that figure only reached 4.2%. In the country's capital, Lisbon, the number of incinerations reaches 54%.


Cremation recently became more popular than burial in Hungary: in 1996, the cremation rate was 27%,[18] and in 2016, it was around 60%, with 70–90% in Budapest.[19]


The first crematorium in Russia was built in Vladivostok in 1917, primarily for the cremations of Japanese people, who had a big population in this city. Later, the Donskoy crematorium was built in Moscow in 1927 and remained the only crematorium in the USSR until 1972, when the Nikolo-Archangelskiy crematorium in Moscow was commissioned. In 2021, there are 27 crematoriums in Russia.

The highest rate of cremations is in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg at about 50–70% of all deaths. In other large cities it is 20–25%, while the total cremation rate in Russia is about 10%.[20] The reason for such a low prevalence of cremation is the mentality of Russians, which is influenced by religious beliefs - the Russian Orthodox Church has a negative attitude towards cremation, while Islam categorically prohibits it.[citation needed]

North America[edit]


The cremation rate in Canada has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 5.9% in 1970 to 68.4% in 2009.[21][22] The rates vary greatly among the provinces with the most recent (1999) province level statistics showing that British Columbia had the highest rate at 74% while Prince Edward Island had the lowest rate at 8.5%.[23]

The projected Canadian rates for 2010:

Rank Jurisdiction Rate (%)[24]
- Canada 65%+
1 British Columbia 77%
2 Alberta 65%
2 Ontario 65%
2 Nova Scotia 65%
2 Yukon 65%
6 Manitoba 63.1%
7 Saskatchewan 56.6%
8 Prince Edward Island 43.2%
9 Quebec 42.5%
10 New Brunswick 33.3%
Newfoundland N/A
Northwest Territories N/A
Nunavut N/A

United States[edit]

The cremation rate in the United States has been increasing steadily, with the national average rate rising from 3.56% in 1960 to 53.1% in 2018. Projections from the Cremation Association of North America forecast a rate of 59.4% in 2023.[25][26] The rates vary considerably among the states with the highest rates (over 70%) being reported in the Western United States with the lowest rates (under 30%) being reported in the Southern United States.[27]

A survey by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council found that Americans increasingly choose cremation for the cost savings. In 1990, 19 percent reported this motivation; in 2010, one-third reported this motivation.[28]

The following table lists the 2014 cremation rate for each state and the District of Columbia including the national average.

2006 US cremation rates
Rank Jurisdiction Rate (%)[27]
- United States 47%
1 Nevada 75.9%
2 Washington 75.2%
3 Oregon 73.9%
4 Hawaii 72.6%
5 Maine 71.2%
6 Colorado 68.7%
7 Montana 68.6%
8 New Hampshire 68.0%
9 Wyoming 66.4%
10 Alaska 65.8%
11 Vermont 65.8%
12 Arizona 65.5%
13 Florida 62.7%
14 California 61.6%
15 Idaho 59.0%
16 New Mexico 57.8%
17 Minnesota 57.0%
18 Michigan 54.4%
19 Wisconsin 52.4%
20 Connecticut 51.3%
21 Delaware 45.2%
22 Kansas 45.2%
23 Massachusetts 43.1%
24 Pennsylvania 42.9%
25 Illinois 42.6%
26 Ohio 42.5%
27 Rhode Island 42.3%
28 Virginia 41.7%
29 Nebraska 41.3%
30 New Jersey 41.2%
31 District of Columbia 41.0%
32 New York 40.1%
33 Maryland 39.6%
34 Texas 39.5%
35 North Dakota 39.0%
36 Iowa 38.9%
37 Oklahoma 38.5%
38 South Carolina 38.1%
39 Missouri 37.9%
40 North Carolina 37.8%
41 Indiana 36.9%
42 Georgia 36.7%
43 South Dakota 35.9%
44 Arkansas 34.0%
45 West Virginia 30.4%
46 Tennessee 30.3%
47 Utah 29.7%
48 Louisiana 27.6%
49 Kentucky 24.6%
50 Alabama 22.9%
51 Mississippi 19.7%

The National Funeral Directors Association had a slightly different national cremation rate in the United States, reporting a 2016 rate of 50.2 percent, with this expecting to increase to 63.8 percent by 2025 and 78.8 percent in 2035.[29]

South America[edit]

Cremation rates vary from 2.16% in Colombia to 25.41% in Argentina.[30][31]



The Cremation Society (UK) states that the cremation rate in Australia in 2018 was slightly over 69% of all deaths."The Cremation Society, International Statistics". Retrieved 16 February 2020. [32]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand's rate is slightly higher than Australia's, with a cremation rate in 2018 of 75% of all deaths."The Cremation Society, International Statistics". Retrieved 16 February 2020.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "International Cremation Statistics 2008". The Cremation Society of Great Britain. 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  3. ^ "Of the 9.77 million Chinese who died in 2014, 4.46 million, or 45.6 percent, were cremated, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA)".
  4. ^ "International Cremation Statistics 2014" (PDF). The Cremation Society of Great Britain. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  5. ^ "Singapore Cremation Statistics 2018". The Cremation Society of Great Britain. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  6. ^ Lee, Hyun-jeong (2015-11-09). "More Koreans cremated". Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  7. ^ "全國殯葬資訊入口網". 內政部民政司. February 20, 2021.
  8. ^ "National Cremation Statistics 1960-2017". The Cremation Society of Great Britain. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  9. ^ Krematoriot pullistelevat nyt vainajista – tässä syy 20.6.2022
  10. ^ "Nederland Crematieland". NRC (in Dutch). 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  11. ^ "Crematie is de norm geworden in Vlaanderen". De Standaard (in Dutch). 2021-05-02. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  12. ^ "Le succès de la crémation en France". Le Point (in French). 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  13. ^ "Eire 2017".
  14. ^ Lakelands Funeral Home Retrieved 22 August 2016. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Muldowney, Jennifer (June 2013). Say Farewell Your Way (1st ed.). Cork: OakTree Press. p. 79. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  16. ^ Gutiérrez, Hugo (November 2, 2016). "Spain turns back on burials as cremations gain ground". EL PAÍS.
  17. ^ "Spain".
  18. ^ "International Statistics 1996".
  19. ^ Fruzsina, Előd. "Haldoklik a hagyományos temetkezés" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  20. ^ "Как происходит кремация человека".
  21. ^ Cremation Association of North America (2003-10-06). "Historical Cremation Data - United States vs. Canada" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  22. ^ "Trends and Statistics". National Funeral Directors Association. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  23. ^ Cremation Association of North America (2003-08-25). "Canadian Cremation Figures" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  24. ^[bare URL PDF]
  25. ^ "Trends and Statistics". National Funeral Directors Association. 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  26. ^ "Industry Statistical Information". Cremation Association of North America. 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  27. ^ a b Colleen Kane (30 October 2015). "Here's why more Americans are getting cremated". Fortune. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  28. ^ MacDonald, G. Jeffrey (12 February 2012). "The Cremation Problem". Boston Globe Magazine. p. 8.
  29. ^ Barron, James (2017-08-10). "In a Move Away From Tradition, Cremations Increase". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  30. ^ "colombia".
  31. ^ "Argentina".
  32. ^ "What's the greenest way to deal with your body after you die?". ABC News. 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2021-11-15.

External links[edit]

  • Welcome - International Cremation Federation Official webpage