Chinese Cremation Craze

Published on Author mcdonaldp16

According to the Civil Ministry of Affairs, 4.46 million out of the 9.77 million Chinese people who passed away during the 2014 were cremated instead of traditionally buried. “The world’s most populous nation is promoting eco-friendly burial and funeral practices ahead of the traditional Qingming holiday, when Chinese pay respect to deceased family members.”

It seems that China, from the ground up, is becoming much more environmentally conscious than in years’ past. As the world’s largest contributor toward air pollution and carbon footprint, China is under close watch by environmentalist organizations worldwide. Not only can burying bodies be viewed as a waste of land, but it is also extraordinarily expensive to do so in China.

According to a worker at a cemetery in Beijing, “the average price of a 1-square-meter plot in a general cemetery has increased to around 200,000 yuan compared with 60,000 yuan for the same kind of cemetery in 2000.” To put this into perspective, burying a loved one is now becoming as expensive as purchasing an apartment.



4 Responses to Chinese Cremation Craze

  1. So is this due to environmental concerns, or because urbanites can’t afford a tomb?

    There have been a couple campaigns against tombs in China, both in urging cremation and in forcing tombs to be relocated to locations with low economic value, mountain slopes rather than the corner of a farm field.

  2. Regardless of environmental issues or cost, it seems that cremation makes the most sense for Chinese. As the population continues to grow more land will have to be developed. I believe development projects use land more appropriately than cemeteries.

  3. Great to see China is focusing on ways it can help reduce the negative effects it has on the environment. While a tad arbitrary, it is a step in the right direction. I wonder if there is any cultural factors behind this new trend.

  4. This trend does make a lot of sense to me. As others have pointed out, the land usage is one good reason for cremation. I’d be interested if we see this trend become more frequent worldwide in the future? Is China ahead of the curve? Will America’s cremation numbers increase as it becomes more and more crowded?