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.


South Africa[edit]

The rate of cremation is about 40% in Cape Town.[1]



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%.


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, however most of the scheduled tribes (8.1% of Indian population) in India follow burial. Further in Hinduism also burial is being practiced for children and diseased persons. The rate of cremation is around 75%.


China cremates more people each year than any other country, reporting 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]


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

South Korea[edit]

South Korea had the cremation rate of 81.6% in 2016.[citation needed] 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.[5]


According to information from Ministry of Interior, the cremation rate was 92.47% in 2013, 144,162 of the 155,908 deaths that year. [6]


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.[7]

Nordic countries[edit]

Cremation rates in the Nordic countries vary from Norway's 36% to Finland's 51%,[8] Sweden's 70% and Denmark's 76%. Cremation is most common in the older larger cities, which are running out of cemetery plots, and rarest in the countryside and small towns where burial places are readily available. 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.[9]


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.[10]


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. Today, almost 20% of deaths in Ireland involve cremation.[11] 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[12] 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.[13] Another crematorium opened in Shannon in 2017.


The cremations in Spain are booming; in 2006, just 16% of deaths involved cremation, and by 2016, that figure had risen to 36%.[14] Around half of all deceased are cremated in Barcelona.[15] In 2018, the total number of deaths was 426,000, of which 41% was cremated.


Cremation recently became more popular than burial in Hungary: in 1996, the cremation rate was 27%,[16] and in 2016, it was around 60%, with 70%-90% in Budapest.[17]


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 1973, when the Piskarevskiy crematorium in Leningrad was commissioned. In 2019, there are 26 crematoriums in Russia.[citation needed]

The highest rate of cremations was in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg at about 70% of all deaths. In other large cities it is 30-40%, while the total cremation rate in Russia is about 10%.[18] 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. In regions with a Muslim majority, crematoriums are totally absent.[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.[19][20] 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%.[21]

The projected Canadian rates for 2010:

Rank Jurisdiction Rate (%)[22]
- 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 and projections from the Cremation Association of North America forecasting a rate of 59.4% in 2023.[23][24] 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.[25]

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 (%)[25]
- 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.[26]

South America[edit]

Cremation rates vary from 2.16% in Colombia to 25.41% in Argentina.[27] [28]



The cremation rate in Australia is similar to other English speaking countries like Canada. Records show that slightly over 65% of all deaths were cremations in 2008.[2]

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand's rate is slightly higher than Australia's, with 70% of all deaths being cremations in 2008.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "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. ^ Lee, Hyun-jeong (2015-11-09). "More Koreans cremated". Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "National Cremation Statistics 1960-2017". The Cremation Society of Great Britain. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  8. ^ Vainajan tuhkauksen jälkeisestä siunaamisesta tarkemmat ohjeet 30.5.2017
  9. ^ "Nederland Crematieland". NRC (in Dutch). 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  10. ^ "Le succès de la crémation en France". Le Point (in French). 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Lakelands Funeral Home Retrieved 22 August 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Muldowney, Jennifer (June 2013). Say Farewell Your Way (1st ed.). Cork: OakTree Press. p. 79. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Fruzsina, Előd. "Haldoklik a hagyományos temetkezés" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Cremation Association of North America (2003-10-06). "Historical Cremation Data - United States vs. Canada" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  20. ^ "Trends and Statistics". National Funeral Directors Association. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  21. ^ Cremation Association of North America (2003-08-25). "Canadian Cremation Figures" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Trends and Statistics". National Funeral Directors Association. 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  24. ^ "Industry Statistical Information". Cremation Association of North America. 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  25. ^ a b Colleen Kane (30 October 2015). "Here's why more Americans are getting cremated". Fortune. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  26. ^ Barron, James (2017-08-10). "In a Move Away From Tradition, Cremations Increase". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  27. ^
  28. ^

External links[edit]