Urban Beijingers spend $12,903 on the deceased

Updated: 2015-03-26 06:21


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Urban Beijingers spend $12,903 on the deceased

Jing'an Cemetery is located in Fangshan District in the southwestern suburbs of Beijing. Tomb prices start 26,800 yuan. [Photo: Baidu]

Urban residents in Beijing spend an average of 80,000 yuan ($12,903) on memorial and burial services for the deceased, according to a report released by China's Ministry of Civil Affairs and Academy of Social Sciences on Wednesday.

The report comes ahead of China's traditional Tomb Sweeping Day which falls on April 5, a time for people to remember their ancestors and late family members.

The report also shows that the average expenditure on memorial and burial services in Beijing, including both urban and suburban areas, reached 42,837 yuan ($6,909).

Ninety-two percent of urban residents in Beijing think tombs in cemeteries cost too much, according to the report.

Prices of tombs usually cost tens of thousands of yuan and are still on the rise.

Lack of land resources and increasing land prices are the reasons behind the large demand of tombs, according to Zeng Hanliu from the Ministry of Civil Affairs who is also project manager of the report.

The report also points out that people are reluctant to choose eco-burial because the traditional Chinese mindset that "one is only truly at peace when he is properly buried," still plays a big part in funerals; and eco-burial hasn't been around long enough that it offers good burial locations and services.

The report suggests better management for the existing tombs, and government subsidies for families that choose eco-burial to encourage more eco-friendly burials while at the same time giving people a choice.