Category Archives: Stupid Questions

Are There Enough Cemeteries?

Meridian, Idaho

Periodically, I wonder about stupid things.

These are questions that don’t really have an answer, but still the questions keep popping up in my head.

question mark with speech bubles, vector on the abstract background

So starting today, I’ll share some of my questions with you, dear gentle blog reader.


Here’s one of the questions that pops up often:

Are there enough cemeteries in the world do take care of all of the people who have died? 

It sure doesn’t look like it to me.

800px-St_James_CemeteryThink about it…

As you’re driving around a city and look at all the people in their cars, walking along the sidewalks, playing in the park…

Could they all fit in the cemetery you just passed?


Now way, no how.

There’s just not enough graves to take care of all the people who have died over the last, say, 100 years. And that’s even factoring in the fact that many people opt for cremation over burial.


According to an article from NBC News, in 2011 42% of the 2.5 million people who died in America were cremated. That’s higher than I thought it would be.

Interestingly, that rate is double what it was fifteen years earlier.

Even more interestingly, cremation rates are higher in the west (where there’s more space) than in the eastern states. In Nevada 74% of its population are cremated (with a population density of 25 people per square mile). In Mississippi (where 64 people live per square mile) just under 16% of people are cremated.

Regardless of cremation rates, there still doesn’t seem to be enough cemetery plots to take care of all the people who have died…