PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The number of Mainers cremating their loved ones' remains is going up.
Forty-four percent of deceased Maine residents were cremated in 2000. In 2010, the rate had grown to 64 percent, well above the national average of 41 percent.
The cremation rate in Maine is the sixth-highest in the U.S. and the highest in the eastern half of the country.
The Maine Sunday Telegram reported that there are a number of reasons for the growing numbers, including the lower cost of cremation, relaxed religious views and increased environmental awareness.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)