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Country Facts


Map of Cambodia



Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand and Vietnam
Area: slightly smaller than Oklahoma State (U.S.A.)
Total area: 181,040 sq km land area: 176,520 sq km
Climate: tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Natural resources: timber, gemstones, some iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential



Population: 10,561,373 (July 1995 est.)

  • 0-14 years: 46% (female 2,367,414; male 2,438,104)
  • 15-64 years: 51% (female 2,932,788; male 2,494,203)
  • 65 years and over: 3% (female 185,337; male 143,527)
  • (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.83% (1995 est.)


  • noun: Cambodian(s)
  • adjective: Cambodian

Ethnic divisions:

  • Khmer 90%
  • Vietnamese 5%
  • Chinese 1%
  • Other 4% (Cham Minority)


  • Theravada Buddhism 95%
  • Other 5% (Cham Minority practices Islam)

Languages: Khmer (official), French

Khmer language comes from an older language called paali, which developed as a successor to Indian Sanskrit. Khmer has 26 vowels and 33 consonants. It is not a tonal language.


The word Kampuchea (as referred to their land by the Cambodians) comes from the kingdom of Kambuja, an empire established by Indian settlers over 1800 years ago. From the 9th to the 13th centuries, the Khmer empire flourished and reigned over much of southeast Asia. Cambodia was colonized by France in the 1860's until 1953 except the Japanese occupation during World War II. In 1975, the KhmerRouge regime of Pol Pot began violent, forced restructuring, killing 1.5-3 million people. The educated and business classes were all but eliminated and the economy was completely destroyed. In December1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and installed a government loyal to Vietnam, naming Hun Sen as prime minister. After Vietnam withdrew in 1989, Hun Sen continues to run the country. King Norodom SIHANOUK was reinstated 24 September 1993 but now power is shared between First Prime Minister Prince Norodom RANARIDDH and Second Prime Minister HUN SEN


  • age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
  • Total population: 35% (male: 48% female: 22%)

Labor force: 2.5 million to 3 million by occupation: agriculture 80% (1988 est.)




  • conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia
  • conventional short form: Cambodia
  • local long form: Reacheanachak Kampuchea
  • local short form: Kampuchea

Capital: Phnom Penh

Administrative divisions: 21 provinces (khet, singular and plural)

Banteay Meanchey, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong, Kracheh, Mondol Kiri, Phnum Penh, Pouthisat, Preah Vihear, Prey Veng, Rotanokiri, Siemreab-Otdar Meanchey, Sihanoukville, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev

note: Siemreab-Otdar Meanchey may have been divided into two provinces named Siemreab and Otdar Meanchey

Independence: 9 November 1949 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 9 November 1949


horizontal band of red separates two equal horizontal bands of blue with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat in the center



The Cambodian Economy

Virtually destroyed by decades of war - is slowly recovering. Government leaders are moving toward restoring fiscal and monetary discipline and have established good working relations with international financial institutions. Growth, starting from a low base, has been strong in 1991-94. Despite such positive developments, the reconstruction effort faces many tough challenges because of the persistence of internal political divisions and the related lack of confidence of foreign investors. Rural Cambodia, where 90% of about 9.5 million Khmer live, remains mired in poverty.

National product:

GDP - purchasing power parity - $6.4 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $630 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 26%-30% (1994 est.)

Exports: $283.6 million (f.o.b., 1993)

  • commodities: timber, rubber, soybeans, sesame
  • partners: Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia

Imports: $479.3 million (c.i.f., 1993)

  • commodities: cigarettes, construction materials, petroleum products, machinery
  • partners: Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia

Industrial production:

  • growth rate 7.9% (1993 est.)
  • accounts for 8% of GDP


rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining


mainly subsistence farming except for rubber plantations; main crops - rice, rubber, corn; food shortages - rice, meat, vegetables, dairy products, sugar, flour

Currency: 1 new riel (CR) = 100 sen

Exchange rates:

Riels (CR) per US$1 - 2,470 (December 1993), 2,800 (September 1992), 500 (December 1991), 560 (1990), 159.00 (1988), 100.00 (1987)

North Korea
South Korea

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