Brief History and National Statistics

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I’ve gathered and edited together these notes on a snapshot history of Cambodia but mostly considerable detail on the current statistical ‘State of the Nation’ as of August 2011. There is considerable detail particularly about the Khmer Rouge years and the aftermath within the site sections “KHMER ROUGE”. At a later date I may well further edit and move this information to within the site sections. There is a reference to this blog posting in the PLACES section, dated today.
Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai
and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863 and it became part of French Indochina in 1887.
Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953 but in 1949 France had given what was to be known as South Vietnam – to Vietnam. Previously the area from Saigon south was known as South Cambodia (Khmer Krom).

In April 1975, after a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns.(separate section specifically on the KHMER ROUGE) At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war.


The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government and renewed political stability. The remaining elements of the Khmer Rouge
surrendered in early 1999. Some of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial for crimes against humanity by a hybrid UN-Cambodian tribunal supported by international assistance.
Elections in July 2003 were relatively peaceful, but it took one year of negotiations between contending political parties before a coalition government was formed.


In October 2004, King Norodom SIHANOUK abdicated the throne and his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI,
was selected to succeed him. Local elections were held in Cambodia in April 2007, with little of the pre-election violence that preceded prior elections. National elections in July 2008 were relatively

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand,
Vietnam, and Laos
Geographic coordinates:
13 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 181,035 sq km
country comparison to the world: 90
land: 176,515 sq km
water: 4,520 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 2,572 km
border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km
443 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season
(December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m
Natural resources:
oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates,
hydropower potential
Land use:
arable land: 20.44%
permanent crops: 0.59%
other: 78.97% (2005)
Irrigated land:
2,850 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources:
476.1 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic / industrial / agricultural):
total: 4.08 cu km/yr (1%/0%/98%)
per capita: 290 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts
Environment – current issues:
illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil
erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing and
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol,
Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life
Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber
94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography – note:
a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle

14,701,717 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of
excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life
expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.2% (male 2,375,155/female 2,356,305)
15-64 years: 64.1% (male 4,523,030/female 4,893,761)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 208,473/female 344,993) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 22.9 years
male: 22.2 years
female: 23.7 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.698% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
Birth rate:
25.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
Death rate:
8.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Net migration rate:
-0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
urban population: 20% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 3.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities – population:
PHNOM PENH (capital) 1.519 million (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 55.49 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 38
male: 62.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.67 years
country comparison to the world: 178
male: 60.31 years
female: 65.13 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.84 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
HIV / AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
HIV / AIDS – people living with HIV / AIDS:
63,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
HIV / AIDS – deaths:
3,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
Drinking water source:
urban: 81% of population
rural: 56% of population
total: 61% of population
urban: 19% of population
rural: 44% of population
total: 39% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
urban: 67% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 29% of population
urban: 33% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 71% of population (2008)
noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian
Ethnic groups:
Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Buddhist (official) 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2%
(1998 census)
Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.6%
male: 84.7%
female: 64.1% (2004 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2007)
Education expenditures:
2.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 154

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia
conventional short form: Cambodia
local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic pronunciation)
local short form: Kampuchea
former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People’s Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia
Government type:
multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
name: Phnom Penh
geographic coordinates: 11 33 N, 104 55 E

Administrative divisions:
23 provinces (khett, singular and plural) and 1 municipality (krong,
singular and plural)
provinces: Banteay Mean Choay, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong
Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong, Keb,
Krachen, Mondol Kiri, Otdar Mean Choay, Pailin, Pouthisat, Preah
Seihanu (Sihanoukville), Preah Vihear, PREY VENG, Rotanokiri, Siem
Reab, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev
municipalities: Phnum Penh (Phnom Penh)
9 November 1953 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 9 November (1953)
promulgated 21 September 1993
Legal system:
civil law system (influenced by the UN Transitional Authority in
Cambodia) customary law, Communist legal theory, and common law
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King Norodom SIHAMONI (since 29 October 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister HUN SEN (since 14 January 1985) [co-
prime minister from 1993 to 1997]; Permanent Deputy Prime Minister MEN
SAM AN (since 25 September 2008); Deputy Prime Ministers SAR KHENG
(since 16 July 2004); BIN CHHIN (since 5 September 2007); KEAT CHHON,
YIM CHHAI LY (since 24 September 2008); KE KIMYAN (since 12 March 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the prime minister and
appointed by the monarch
(For more information visit theWorld Leaders website )
elections: the king chosen by a Royal Throne Council from among all
eligible males of royal descent; following legislative elections, a
member of the majority party or majority coalition named prime
minister by the Chairman of the National Assembly and appointed by the
Legislative branch:
bicameral, consists of the Senate (61 seats; 2 members appointed by
the monarch, 2 elected by the National Assembly, and 57 elected by
parliamentarians and commune councils; members serve five-year terms)
and the National Assembly (123 seats; members elected by popular vote
to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate – last held on 22 January 2006 (next to be held in
January 2012); National Assembly – last held on 27 July 2008 (next to
be held in July 2013)
election results: Senate – percent of vote by party – CPP 69%,
FUNCINPEC 21%, SRP 10%; seats by party – CPP 45, FUNCINPEC 10, SRP 2;
National Assembly – percent of vote by party – CPP 58%, SRP 22%, HRP
7%; NRP 6%; FUNCINPEC 5%; others 2%; seats by party – CPP 90, SRP 26,
Judicial branch:
Supreme Council of the Magistracy (provided for in the constitution
and formed in December 1997); Supreme Court (and lower courts)
exercises judicial authority
Political parties and leaders:
Cambodian People’s Party or CPP [CHEA SIM]; Human Rights Party or HRP
[KHEM SOKHA, also spelled KEM SOKHA]; National United Front for an
Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or FUNCINPEC
(formerly the NRP); Sam Rangsi Party or SRP [SAM RANGSI, also spelled
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Cambodian Freedom Fighters or CFF; Partnership for Transparency Fund
or PTF (anti-corruption organization); Students Movement for
Democracy; The Committee for Free and Fair Elections or Comfrel
other: human rights organizations; vendors
International organization participation:

Flag description:
three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width), and blue
with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined in
black in the center of the red band; red and blue are traditional
Cambodian colors
note: only national flag to incorporate an actual building in its design
National anthem:
name: “Nokoreach” (Royal Kingdom)
lyrics/music: CHUON NAT/F. PERRUCHOT and J. JEKYLL
note: adopted 1941, restored 1993; the anthem, based on a Cambodian
folk tune, was restored after the defeat of the Communist regime

Economy – overview:
From 2004 to 2007, the economy grew about 10% per year, driven
largely by an expansion in the garment sector, construction,
agriculture, and tourism. GDP contracted slightly in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but climbed more than 4% in 1010, driven by renewed exports. With the January 2005 expiration of a WTO
Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, Cambodian textile producers were forced to compete directly with lower-priced countries such as China,
India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The garment industry currently employs more than 280,000 people – about 5% of the work force – and contributes more than 70% of Cambodia’s exports. In 2005, exploitable
oil deposits were found beneath Cambodia’s territorial waters, representing a new revenue stream for the government if commercial extraction begins. Mining also is attracting significant investor interest, particularly in the northern parts of the country. The
government has said opportunities exist for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems. Rubber exports increased about 25% in 2009 due to rising global demand. The tourism industry has continued to grow rapidly, with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007-08; however, economic troubles abroad dampened growth
in 2009. The global financial crisis is weakening demand for Cambodian exports, and construction is declining due to a shortage of credit.
The long-term development of the economy remains a daunting challenge.
The Cambodian government is working with bilateral and multilateral
donors, including the World Bank and IMF, to address the country’s many pressing needs. The major economic challenge for Cambodia over
the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia’s demographic imbalance. More than 50% of the population is less than 25
years old. The population lacks education and productive skills
particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an
almost total lack of basic infrastructure.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$30.18 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
$28.47 billion (2009 est.)
$29.04 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$11.63 billion (2010 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
-2% (2009 est.)
6.7% (2008 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP):
$2,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
$2,000 (2009 est.)
$2,100 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 33.4%
industry: 21.4%
services: 45.2% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
8.8 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 57.6%
industry: 15.9%
services: 26.5% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate:
3.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
2.5% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
31% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 34.2% (2007)
Distribution of family income – Gini index:
43 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
40 (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
23% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
revenues: $1.413 billion
expenditures: $2.079 billion (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
-0.7% (2009)
Central bank discount rate:
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 79
5.25% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
17% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 36
16.01% (31 December 2008)
Stock of narrow money:
$850.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
$747.2 million (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$4.982 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
$3.899 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$2.195 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
$1.991 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Agriculture – products:
rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca, silk
tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
5.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
Electricity – production:
1.273 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
Electricity – consumption:
1.272 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
Electricity – exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – imports:
167 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil – production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
Oil – consumption:
4,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
Oil – exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
Oil – imports:
30,970 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Oil – proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
Natural gas – production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
Natural gas – consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Natural gas – exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Natural gas – imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Natural gas – proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Current account balance:
$-918 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
$-865.7 million (2009 est.)
$4.687 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$4.186 billion (2009 est.)
Exports – commodities:
clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
Exports – partners:
Hong Kong 33%, US 31.2%, Singapore 9.7% (2009)
$6.005 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$5.876 billion (2009 est.)
Imports – commodities:
petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials,
machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
Imports – partners:
China 22.6%, Vietnam 12.7%, Hong Kong 12.4%, Thailand 11.9%, South
Korea 5.4%, Singapore 5.4% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.84 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
$3.289 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt – external:
$4.338 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
$4.284 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates:
riels (KHR) per US dollar -
4,145 (2010)
4,139 (2009)
4,070.94 (2008)
4,006 (2007)
4,103 (2006)

Telephones – main lines in use:
54,200 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 160
Telephones – mobile cellular:
5.593 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 91
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate fixed-line and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; mobile-cellular phone systems
are widely used in urban areas to bypass deficiencies in the fixed-
line network; mobile-phone coverage is rapidly expanding in rural areas
domestic: fixed-line connections stand at well less than 1 per 100
persons; mobile-cellular usage, aided by increasing competition among
service providers, is increasing and stands at 40 per 100 persons
international: country code – 855; adequate but expensive landline and
cellular service available to all countries from Phnom Penh and major
provincial cities; satellite earth station – 1 Intersputnik (Indian
Ocean region) (2009)
Broadcast media:
mixture of state-owned, joint public-private, and privately-owned
broadcast media; 9 TV broadcast stations with most operating on
multiple channels, including 1 state-operated station broadcasting
from multiple locations, 6 stations either jointly operated or
privately-owned with some broadcasting from several locations, and 2
TV relay stations – one relaying a French television station and the
other relaying a Vietnamese television station; multi-channel cable
and satellite systems are available; roughly 50 radio broadcast
stations – 1 state-owned broadcaster with multiple stations and a
large mixture of public and private broadcasters; several
international broadcasters are available (2009)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
5,452 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 138
Internet users:
78,500 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 166

17 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 141
Airports – with paved runways:
total: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
Airports – with unpaved runways:
total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
1 (2010)
total: 690 km
country comparison to the world: 101
narrow gauge: 690 km 1.000-m gauge
note: under restoration (2010)
total: 38,093 km
country comparison to the world: 90
paved: 2,977 km
unpaved: 35,116 km (2007)
2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 36
Merchant marine:
total: 620
country comparison to the world: 20
by type: bulk carrier 40, cargo 526, carrier 5, chemical tanker 5,
container 5, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 7,
petroleum tanker 12, refrigerated cargo 13, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 426 (Belgium 1, Canada 2, China 203, Cyprus 8, Egypt
12, Estonia 1, French Polynesia 1, Gabon 1, Greece 2, Hong Kong 11,
Indonesia 2, Japan 2, Latvia 1, Lebanon 6, Netherlands 1, Romania 1,
Russia 60, Singapore 4, South Korea 11, Syria 22, Taiwan 1, Turkey 26,
UAE 2, UK 3, Ukraine 37, US 4, Vietnam 1)
note: this country allows large numbers of ships owned by foreign
entities to be registered in its national shipping registry and to fly
its flag; these ships operate under the laws of the flag state (2010)
Ports and terminals:
Phnom Penh, Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)

Military branches:
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces: Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer Navy,
Royal Cambodian Air Force (2011)
Military service age and obligation:
conscription law of October 2006 requires all males between 18-30 to
register for military service; 18-month service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 3,883,724
females age 16-49: 4,003,585 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,638,167
females age 16-49: 2,965,328 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 151,143
female: 154,542 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
3% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Transnational Issues
Disputes – international:
Cambodia is concerned about Laos’ extensive upstream dam construction;
Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011 Thailand
and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the
boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins,
awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN
World Heritage site; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of
illicit cross-border activities; Progress on a joint development area
with Vietnam is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of
offshore islands

Illicit drugs:
narcotics-related corruption reportedly involving some in the
government, military, and police; limited methamphetamine production;
vulnerable to money laundering due to its cash-based economy and porous borders

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