SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's cremation rate inched up to reach nearly 85 percent in 2018 amid a growing preference for cremation over burials, government data showed Monday.
The country's cremation rate amounted to 84.6 percent last year, up 1.9 percentage points from the previous year, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The figure also marks a 4.4 times increase from the 19.1 percent recorded 25 years ago.
The cremation rate stood at 87.2 percent for men last year and 81.6 percent for women. The rate was the highest at about 98 percent for dead people in their 20s.
Amid an acute shortage of burial space, a growing number of South Koreans have been opting for cremation despite a traditional emphasis on the importance of paying respects to ancestors through burials and visits to graves.
The data also showed South Korea had 59 crematoriums nationwide with the number of cremation incinerators reaching 350 as of the end of last year.
The government plans to invest 40.8 billion won to build more creation facilities across the nation this year to meet growing demand for cremation.
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