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Crematoria

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Cremation Rate by Country 2024

Cremation involves the burning of a body after death. Family members may keep the ashes, have them buried, or scatter them, depending on the dead individual's wishes. Cremation is one of the many burial practices people use around the world and a very personal decision for individuals and their families based on culture, religion, finances, and personal views.

Popularity of Cremation Globally

The popularity of cremation varies around the world. Due to the high impact of religion on burial practices, many countries with majorities of certain religions that support cremation have much higher rates.

Many religions permit cremation for their followers. Examples of these include Buddhism, Jain, and Hinduism. In places that have high percentages of followers of these religions, cremation has a higher popularity.

However, many religions oppose cremation, such as Islam, Orthodox Judaism, and the Greek Orthodox Church. Consequently, cremation does not happen at the same rates in nations with large groups from these religions as in other places.

Cremation Rates Within Countries

Within each country, the cremation rates can also vary. In countries, such as Russia and the United States, cremation happens more frequently in cities than in rural places.

Similarly, age may also play a factor in cremation statistics. In South Korea, younger people have higher cremation rates compared to those over 60.

Therefore, even a country with a low rate of cremation may have pockets where the practice occurs more frequently.

Countries with the Highest and Lowest Cremation Rates

Almost all deaths in Japan result in cremation. That country has the world's greatest rate of cremation, 99.97%, almost 100%. The other top five countries with the highest rates of cremation as of 2023, are Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Switzerland. Cremation rates in these countries range from 82.95% in Sweden to 96.76% in Taiwan.

Countries that reported the lowest rates of cremation in 2019 include Greece, Ghana, Mongolia, Lithuania, and Russia. Greece's rate was below 1%, 0.63%, while the fifth lowest, Russia, had a cremation rate of 15.21% of deaths.

Download Table Data

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Country
Crematoria
Deaths 2019
Cremations 2019
% Deaths 2019
Deaths 2018
Cremations 2018
% Deaths 2018
United States3,1052,839,9651,550,24154.58%2,808,6661,491,04353.1%
Thailand2,077506,211404,96980%473,541378,83380%
China1,745
Japan1,40599.97%1,405,2091,404,73799.97%
Canada354277,696203,04573.12%280,798201,09971.62%
United Kingdom307604,723472,30278.1%616,014481,30878.18%
France185612,000238,76239.01%610,000232,57738.13%
Germany159936,591646,24869%960,000643,20067%
Spain132417,625186,00644.54%427,721175,61841.06%
Mauritius126
Argentina110 336,823151,57145%
Australia101 158,493
Netherlands99151,815101,64266.95%153,249100,08965.31%
Italy85634,432194,66930.68%633,133183,14628.98%
Mexico70
South Korea60295,100259,71288.01%298,820259,34786.79%
Sweden5888,60173,49782.95%92,18575,66982.1%
Poland52
Sri Lanka45
Brazil43
Taiwan38
South Africa33
Switzerland2967,30757,74685.79%66,65454,84282.28%
Norway2840,68417,93744.09%40,84017,42942.68%
Russia271,798,307273,56315.21%1,828,910220,00012.03%
Czech Republic27112,40088,93979.12%112,92092,06181.52%
Portugal206,4473,70657.48%7,9763,87248.55%
Denmark20 55,23246,34083.9%
Finland2053,55930,73357.38%54,29529,03853.48%
Belgium19108,74567,76862.32%110,64567,25260.78%
Colombia18
Hungary17129,60086,70266.9%133,67585,81864.2%
Austria1381,485 83,975
Cuba9
Ghana880,7925,1766.41%76,0505,0756.67%
Peru81,19287173.07%1,47499767.64%
Indonesia7
Malaysia7
Hong Kong648,70645,54393.51%47,47943,80392.26%
Panama5
Romania4
Singapore421,38517,24580.64%21,09416,99080.54%
Trinidad and Tobago4
Ukraine3
Haiti3176 167
Philippines2
Vietnam2
Zimbabwe2
Serbia216,5543,45120.85%13,1823,40425.82%
Costa Rica2
Mongolia218,4031,4637.95%17,8641,3647.64%
Jamaica2
Slovenia2 20,48517,18883.91%
Estonia2
Suriname2
Guatemala1
Greece1113,4194470.39%
United Arab Emirates1
Bulgaria1
El Salvador1
Lithuania138,2814,90212.81%3,80439,8359.55%
Namibia1 448
Latvia1
Luxembourg14,2832,81065.61%4,3182,60260.26%
Iceland12,37883635.16%2,35280234.1%
Grenada1
Andorra1 25016566%
New Zealand34,26075%33,53275%
showing: 68 rows

Which country has the highest rate of cremation?

Japan has the highest cremation rate. Over 99.97% of all deaths are cremated annually. Officially, Japan claims a 100% cremation rate.

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