Changing preference and price possible factors in cemeteries revenue decline

By Vanessa Ybarra
March 18, 2017 - 12:34pm Updated: March 18, 2017 - 3:41pm

KAMLOOPS — It appears more people are choosing to forego a cremation or traditional burial when they die. 

Drake Smith, Owner and Funeral Director of Drake Cremation and Funeral Services, says he's seen a change in people's death preferences in the last few years compared to when he started in the early 2000s.

"Fewer people are opting to bury their loved one, whether it's the body or ashes in the cemetery," said Smith. "More and more people are choosing to scatter the ashes, or keep them at home, so that's been a huge change in the funeral service industry." 

The City of Kamloops saw a drop in its cemetery cost-recovery rate, going from 96% in 2014 to 77% last year.

Along with changing preferences, Smith says burial costs may also be contributing to the slowdown in cemetery services.

The City of Kamloops website shows the basic cost for a single cremation burial and service is just under $1,200, with a single traditional burial costing almost $3,500.

Smith says an average eight-out-of-ten people at his funeral home are cremated, compared to one-in-four a few decades ago. 

Vital Statistics BC reports show B.C's yearly death toll is on the upswing, increasing from 31,303 deaths between 2007 and 2011 to 32,794 between 2011 and 2015.

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