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States Where People Are the Least Likely to Choose Alkaline Hydrolysis Cremation

Flame-based cremation is more common than burial. What states have the lowest cremation rates? Why is Alkaline Hydrolysis not more common? Keep reading to find out.
States Where People Are the Least Likely to Choose Alkaline Hydrolysis Cremation

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Across the country, cremation rates are slowly increasing, and it’s now more common than burial. However, that’s not the case in every state. There are a handful of states with cremation rates that are well below the average. 

Openness and opposition to cremation depends on a variety of factors. For alkaline hydrolysis, also known as water cremation, opposition largely comes from lack of knowledge. Even people who are open to the idea of traditional flame-based cremation are sometimes hesitant to embrace the concept of alkaline hydrolysis simply because they aren’t familiar with the process. When they find out that the process is more eco-friendly, safer and just as effective as traditional cremation many people end up preferring alkaline hydrolysis. 

So why is cremation in general less common and the use of alkaline hydrolysis straight out opposed in some states? To answer that question you can start by looking at the states with the lowest cremation rates overall. 

States With the Lowest Cremation Rates

It stands to reason that if traditional cremation is not the norm in a state, then people in that state are even less likely to choose alkaline hydrolysis. Below are the five states with the lowest cremation rates based on the Cremation Association of North America’s most recent data from 2019. 

Utah – 40.2% Cremation Rate

Louisiana – 37.1% Cremation Rate

Kentucky – 35.1% Cremation Rate

Alabama – 32.6% Cremation Rate

Mississippi – 27.9% Cremation Rate

The reason for the lower than average cremation rates largely comes down to several factors:

  • Cremation is in conflict with religious beliefs.
  • Cultural norms – people tend to stick with what has traditionally been done.
  • Environmental impact of funeral services is not a large concern.

In Utah alkaline hydrolysis is legal, but religion plays a huge role in the low cremation rates. The state has a large Mormon population, and although the religion doesn’t prohibit cremation, burial is encouraged. Because of that, reception for alkaline hydrolysis on the individual level won’t likely be any better than traditional flame cremation. The same is true in Louisiana. Over a quarter of the state’s population identifies as Catholic. Catholicism allows for cremation within certain parameters, but burial is still the preferred funeral service. 

Given the cremation rates and reluctance to legalize alkaline hydrolysis, it’s not surprising to learn that four of the states above are on the list for the least green states in the U.S. One of the top reasons people choose alkaline hydrolysis is because it has less of an environmental impact than other options. In states where eco-friendliness isn’t a top priority, alkaline hydrolysis is a harder sell. 

Unfortunately, many people are opposed to the idea of alkaline hydrolysis because the practice isn’t the norm and has been misrepresented. A recent article from CNET highlighted why people haven’t embraced alkaline hydrolysis. Films and television have given the wrong impression about liquifying a body, making it seem shady and unseemly. 

And some in the funeral industry have unfairly called the safety of alkaline hydrolysis into question. Casket makers are among those that have actively attempted to dissuade people from choosing water cremation by misrepresenting the process. Indiana isn’t on the list above, but it’s one of the states that has outright opposed legalizing alkaline hydrolysis. The reason – a state representative who owned a casket business fought a bill to legalize it and the bill lost. 

While some states have cremation rates that are very low compared to the national average of 56.1%, there has been a significant increase over the last decade. Data from less than a decade ago shows the cremation rate has increased by 33-55% in the states with the lowest cremation rates. In 2013 the cremation rates were:

  • Utah – 30%
  • Louisiana – 25%
  • Kentucky – 24%
  • Alabama – 22%
  • Mississippi – 18%

These numbers suggest that more people are becoming open to the idea of cremation in general, even in the states where most people opt for burial.  

The Other End of the Spectrum: States That Have Approved Alkaline Hydrolysis

While some states are still majority burial, others are increasing their cremation options. Over half of the states have approved alkaline hydrolysis or are in the process of approving bills to regulate the practice. 

There are a number of reasons why some states have chosen to expand cremation options to include alkaline hydrolysis. Two of the most common reasons for passing bills that allow alkaline hydrolysis are:

Give consumers more options and more control over funeral services.

Concern about the environmental damage caused by other funeral services.

As more people learn the facts about alkaline hydrolysis it’s losing its stigma and gaining acceptance. If you’d like to learn more about alkaline hydrolysis in Texas our knowledgeable team is here to answer your questions. You can give us a call, text or email any hour of the day, any day of the week.

Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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