Funeral Biz Reels as More Opt for Cheaper Cremation

Recession takes a toll on pricey burials
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2009 9:29 AM CDT
Cremation has been getting more popular as prices for traditional funerals seem more out of reach for recession-pinched families.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – It's sometimes said that death is the only recession-proof industry, but current trends seem to prove that axiom wrong, CNN writes. Funeral homes across the country are reporting a decline in profits—not because fewer people are dying, of course, but because more people are opting for cremation and scrimping on headstones and other burial trappings.

The average cost for a funeral is more than $6000, but cremation can go for under $1000. The Cremation Association of North America estimates that 40% of people will opt for urns over caskets by next year, and cost savings are the No. 1 reason for the choice. A headstone maker notes that "this is the quietest" period he's ever seen, and the customers he does see are looking for simpler, cheaper monuments.