While burial was once the preferred or only choice, over 70% of people now choose cremation. Cremation has become the majority choice for a number of reasons. Pressure is growing on available space for burial, with the result that the cost of cremation is substantially lower than the cost of a grave. From a practical point of view, cremation is the simpler and more economical option.
The decision between burial and cremation may be made on religious or cultural grounds. Moslems, for example, choose burial for religious reasons. Hindus and Sikhs are cremated. For Jews, the decision is influenced by the form of Judaism observed – Orthodox Jews do not allow cremation. For most Christians, cremation is acceptable and common practice, although the Catholic Church has only endorsed this since 1965.
There may be other simple, personal reasons such as family traditions that determine the choice.