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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. In April 1975, after a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns. 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... See More



 Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos

Geographic Coordinates:

 13 00 N, 105 00 E


 Total: 181,035 sq km
Land: 176,515 sq km
Water: 4,520 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Oklahoma

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 2,572 km
Border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km


 443 km (Rank: 113)

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:

 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 overfishing

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 Sap

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 Noun: Cambodian(s)
Adjective: Cambodian

Ethnic Groups:

 Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%


 Khmer (official) 95%, French, English


 Buddhist (official) 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2% (1998 census)


 14,701,717 (July 2011 est.)

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.)

Birth Rate:

 25.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 8.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 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.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 290 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 55.49 deaths/1,000 live births
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
Male: 60.31 years
Female: 65.13 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.84 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.227 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.1 beds/1,000 population (2004)

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)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.5% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 63,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 3,100 (2009 est.)

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 possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 28.8% (2008)

Education Expenditures:

 2.1% of GDP (2009)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 73.6%
Male: 84.7%
Female: 64.1% (2004 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 10 years
Male: 10 years
Female: 9 years (2007)

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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
Time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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 3 February 1992); SOK AN, TEA BANH, HOR NAMHONG, NHEK BUNCHHAY (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

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 king

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, HRP 3, FUNCINPEC 2, NRP 2

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 [KEV PUT REAKSMEI]; Nationalist Party or NP [CHHIM SEAK LENG] (formerly the NRP); Sam Rangsi Party or SRP [SAM RANGSI, also spelled SAM RAINSY]

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:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador HENG HEM
Chancery: 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
Telephone: [1] (202) 726-7742
FAX: [1] (202) 726-8381

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeff DIGLE
Embassy: #1, Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Mailing address: Box P, APO AP 96546
Telephone: [855] (23) 728-000
FAX: [855] (23) 728-600

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 Symbols:

 Angkor Wat temple; kouprey (wild ox)

National Anthem:

 Name: "Nokoreach" (Royal Kingdom)

Note: adopted 1941, restored 1993; the anthem, based on a Cambodian folk tune, was restored after the defeat of the Communist regime

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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. In 2006, a US-Cambodia bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed, and several rounds of discussions have been held since 2007. 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.)
$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.)
-2% (2009 est.)
6.7% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $2,100 (2010 est.)
$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.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 57.6%
Industry: 15.9%
Services: 26.5% (2009 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 3.5% (2007 est.)
2.5% (2000 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 31% (2007 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 3%
Highest 10%: 37.3% (2007)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 44.4 (2007 est.)
40 (2004 est.)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 20.4% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $1.472 billion
Expenditures: $2.159 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 12.7% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -5.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 4% (2010 est.)
-0.7% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 NA% (31 December 2008)
5.25% (31 December 2007)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 15.633% (31 December 2010 est.)
15.812% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $591.7 million (31 December 2008)
$513.6 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $3.197 billion (31 December 2009)
$2.328 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $789.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$742.6 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $4.832 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.875 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $2.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.979 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

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.)

Electricity - Production:

 1.377 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 65%
Hydro: 35%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 1.559 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 374 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 32,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 33,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$990.6 million (2010 est.)
-$865.7 million (2009 est.)


 $5.527 billion (2010 est.)
$4.302 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

Exports - Partners:

 US 47.3%, Canada 7.5%, UK 6.8%, Germany 6.4%, Thailand 4.3%, Japan 4.1% (2010)


 $7.38 billion (2010 est.)
$5.876 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products

Imports - Partners:

 Thailand 26.5%, Singapore 25.1%, China 15.3%, Hong Kong 6.6%, Vietnam 6.5% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $3.802 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.288 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $4.431 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.364 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Cambodia Riel to Any Currency

Riels (KHR) per US dollar -
4,145 (2010)
4,139 (2009)
4,070.94 (2008)
4,006 (2007)
4,103 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 358,800 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 8.151 million (2010)

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 about 2 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, aided by competition among service providers, is increasing rapidly and stands at about 55 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)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 50, shortwave NA (2008)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 9 (2009)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 5,452 (2010)

Internet Users:

 78,500 (2009)

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 17 (2010)

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
Narrow gauge: 690 km 1.000-m gauge

Note: under restoration (2010)


 Total: 38,093 km
Paved: 2,977 km
Unpaved: 35,116 km (2007)


 2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 620
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)

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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.)

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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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Last Updated: December 2011

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