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Cremations in Wis. finally top number of burials

State Department of Health Services releases report

MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin report said the number of cremations in the state has finally overtaken the number of burials.

The state Department of Health Services released a report Tuesday detailing statistics of 2011 deaths and death rates. It found that 47 percent of people were cremated that year, while 46 percent were buried.

Another 6.5 percent were entombed and less than 1 percent donated their bodies.

Barbara Kemmis is the executive director of the Cremation Association of North America in Wheeling, Ill. She said people across the U.S. are increasingly choosing cremation.

She said in the 11 westernmost states, Utah is the only state where fewer than 51 percent of people are cremated.

She said cremation can be substantially cheaper and more environmentally friendly than burial.

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