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 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 remaining Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial by a UN-sponsored tribunal for crimes against humanity. 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 SIHANOUK abdicated the throne due to illness and his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI, was selected to succeed him. Local elections were held in Cambodia in April 2007, and there was little in the way of pre-election violence that preceded prior elections. National elections are scheduled for July 2008.



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

Geographic coordinates:

DefinitionField Listing
13 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references:

DefinitionField Listing
Southeast Asia


DefinitionField ListingRank Order
total: 181,040 sq km
land: 176,520 sq km
water: 4,520 sq km

Area – comparative:

DefinitionField Listing
slightly smaller than Oklahoma

Land boundaries:

DefinitionField Listing
total: 2,572 km
border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km


DefinitionField Listing
443 km

Maritime claims:

DefinitionField Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm


DefinitionField Listing
tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation


DefinitionField Listing
mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north

Elevation extremes:

DefinitionField Listing
lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m

Natural resources:

DefinitionField Listing
oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential

Land use:

DefinitionField Listing
arable land: 20.44%
permanent crops: 0.59%
other: 78.97% (2005)

Irrigated land:

DefinitionField Listing
2,700 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

DefinitionField Listing
476.1 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

DefinitionField Listing
total: 4.08 cu km/yr (1%/0%/98%)
per capita: 290 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

DefinitionField Listing
monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts

Environment – current issues:

DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing
a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle Sap



DefinitionField ListingRank Order
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 (July 2008 est.)

Age structure:

DefinitionField Listing
0-14 years: 33.2% (male 2,389,668/female 2,338,838)
15-64 years: 63.2% (male 4,372,480/female 4,627,895)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 193,338/female 319,421) (2008 est.)

Median age:

DefinitionField Listing
total: 21.7 years
male: 21 years
female: 22.5 years (2008 est.)

Population growth rate:

DefinitionField Listing
1.752% (2008 est.)

Birth rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
25.68 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Death rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
8.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Net migration rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
NA (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:

DefinitionField Listing
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
total: 56.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 63.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
total population: 61.69 years
male: 59.65 years
female: 63.83 years (2008 est.)

Total fertility rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
3.08 children born/woman (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
2.6% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
170,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – deaths:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
15,000 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

DefinitionField Listing
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 (2008)


DefinitionField Listing
noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian

Ethnic groups:

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


DefinitionField Listing
Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%


DefinitionField Listing
Khmer (official) 95%, French, English


DefinitionField Listing
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):

DefinitionField Listing
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2006)

Education expenditures:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
1.7% (2004)



Country name:

DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing
multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy


DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing
20 provinces (khaitt, singular and plural) and 4 municipalities* (krong, singular and plural)
provinces: Banteay Mean Cheay, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong, Krachen, Mondol Kiri, Otdar Mean Cheay, Pouthisat, Preah Vihear, Prey Veng, Rotanah Kiri, Siem Reab, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev
municipalities: Keb, Pailin, Phnum Penh (Phnom Penh), Preah Seihanu (Sihanoukville)


DefinitionField Listing
9 November 1953 (from France)

National holiday:

DefinitionField Listing
Independence Day, 9 November (1953)


DefinitionField Listing
promulgated 21 September 1993

Legal system:

DefinitionField Listing
primarily a civil law mixture of French-influenced codes from the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) period, royal decrees, and acts of the legislature, with influences of customary law and remnants of communist legal theory; increasing influence of common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


DefinitionField Listing
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

DefinitionField Listing
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]; Deputy Prime Ministers SAR KHENG (since 3 February 1992); SOK AN, LU LAY SRENG, TEA BANH, HOR NAMHONG, NHEK BUNCHHAY (since 16 July 2004); KEV PUT REAKSMEI (since 24 October 2006), BIN CHHIN (since 5 September 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers in theory appointed by the monarch; in practice named by the prime minister
elections: the monarch is chosen by a Royal Throne Council; following legislative elections, a member of the majority party or majority coalition is named prime minister by the Chairman of the National Assembly and appointed by the king

Legislative branch:

DefinitionField Listing
bicameral, consists of the National Assembly (123 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and 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)
elections: National Assembly – last held 27 July 2008 (next to be held in July 2013); Senate – last held 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2011)
election results: National Assembly – percent of vote by party – CPP 58%, SRP 22%, others 20%; seats by party – CPP 90, SRP 26, others 7; Senate – percent of vote by party – CPP 69%, FUNCINPEC 21%, SRP 10%; seats by party – CPP 45, FUNCINPEC 10, SRP 2

Judicial branch:

DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing
Cambodian People’s Party or CPP [CHEA SIM]; National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or FUNCINPEC [KEV PUT REAKSMEI]; Norodom Ranariddh Party or NRP [Norodom RANARIDDH]; Sam Rangsi Party or SRP [SAM RANGSI]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing

Diplomatic representation in the US:

DefinitionField Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador EK SEREYWATH
chancery: 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-7742
FAX: [1] (202) 726-8381

Diplomatic representation from the US:

DefinitionField Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph A. MUSSOMELI
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:

DefinitionField Listing
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
note: only national flag to incorporate an actual building in its design



Economy – overview:

DefinitionField Listing
From 2001 to 2004, the economy grew at an average rate of 6.4%, driven largely by an expansion in the garment sector and tourism. The US and Cambodia signed a Bilateral Textile Agreement, which gave Cambodia a guaranteed quota of US textile imports and established a bonus for improving working conditions and enforcing Cambodian labor laws and international labor standards in the industry. With the January 2005 expiration of a WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, Cambodia-based textile producers were forced to compete directly with lower-priced producing countries such as China and India. Better-than-expected garment sector performance led to more than 9% growth in 2007. Its vibrant garment industry employs more than 350,000 people and contributes more than 70% of Cambodia’s exports. The Cambodian government has committed itself to a policy supporting high labor standards in an attempt to maintain buyer interest. In 2005, exploitable oil and natural gas 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 northeastern parts of the country, and 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 the first round of discussions took place in early 2007. The tourism industry continues to grow rapidly, with foreign arrivals reaching 2 million in 2007. In 2007 the government signed a joint venture agreement with two companies to form a new national airline. 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 21 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):

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
$25.9 billion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

DefinitionField Listing
$8.604 billion (2007 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
9.6% (2007 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
$1,800 (2007 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:

DefinitionField Listing
agriculture: 31%
industry: 26%
services: 43% (2007 est.)

Labor force:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
7 million (2003 est.)

Labor force – by occupation:

DefinitionField Listing
agriculture: 75%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
2.5% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:

DefinitionField Listing
35% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

DefinitionField Listing
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 34.8% (2004)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:

DefinitionField Listing
41.7 (2004 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
5.9% (2007 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
21.7% of GDP (2007 est.)


DefinitionField Listing
revenues: $972.8 million
expenditures: $1.04 billion (2007 est.)

Agriculture – products:

DefinitionField Listing
rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca


DefinitionField Listing
tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles

Industrial production growth rate:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
9% (2007 est.)

Electricity – production:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
134 million kWh (2005)

Electricity – consumption:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
206.6 million kWh (2005)

Electricity – exports:

DefinitionField Listing
0 kWh (2005)

Electricity – imports:

DefinitionField Listing
82 million kWh (2005)

Oil – production:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil – consumption:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
3,700 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – exports:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil – imports:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
3,585 bbl/day (2004)

Oil – proved reserves:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas – production:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas – consumption:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas – exports:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas – imports:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
0 cu m (2005)

Natural gas – proved reserves:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order

Current account balance:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
-$77 million (2007 est.)


DefinitionField ListingRank Order
$4.071 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Exports – commodities:

DefinitionField Listing
clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

Exports – partners:

DefinitionField Listing
US 59.1%, Germany 7.5%, UK 4.7%, Canada 4.6% (2006)


DefinitionField ListingRank Order
$5.413 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports – commodities:

DefinitionField Listing
petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products

Imports – partners:

DefinitionField Listing
Thailand 27.3%, China 16.8%, Hong Kong 12%, Taiwan 8.9%, Singapore 8.8%, Vietnam 6.1% (2006)

Economic aid – recipient:

DefinitionField Listing
$698.2 million pledged in grants and concession loans for 2007 by international donors (2007)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
$2.143 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Debt – external:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
$3.891 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order

Currency (code):

DefinitionField Listing
riel (KHR)

Exchange rates:

DefinitionField Listing
riels per US dollar – 4,006 (2007), 4,103 (2006), 4,092.5 (2005), 4,016.25 (2004), 3,973.33 (2003)

Fiscal year:

DefinitionField Listing
calendar year



Telephones – main lines in use:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
32,800 (2006)

Telephones – mobile cellular:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
2.583 million (2007)

Telephone system:

DefinitionField Listing
general assessment: mobile-phone systems are widely used in urban areas to bypass deficiencies in the fixed-line network; 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 about 8 per 100 persons
domestic: adequate landline and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; mobile-phone coverage is rapidly expanding in rural areas
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) (2007)

Radio broadcast stations:

DefinitionField Listing
AM 2, FM 17, shortwave NA (2003)

Television broadcast stations:

DefinitionField Listing
9 (including 2 TV relay stations with French and Vietnamese broadcasts); excludes 18 regional relay stations (2006)

Internet country code:

DefinitionField Listing

Internet hosts:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
941 (2007)

Internet users:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
44,000 (2005)




DefinitionField ListingRank Order
17 (2007)

Airports – with paved runways:

DefinitionField Listing
total: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)

Airports – with unpaved runways:

DefinitionField Listing
total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (2007)


DefinitionField Listing
1 (2007)


DefinitionField ListingRank Order
total: 602 km
narrow gauge: 602 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)


DefinitionField ListingRank Order
total: 38,257 km
paved: 2,406 km
unpaved: 35,851 km (2004)


DefinitionField ListingRank Order
2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2005)

Merchant marine:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
total: 599 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,861,317 GRT/2,612,047 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 39, cargo 501, carrier 3, chemical tanker 8, container 9, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 14, refrigerated cargo 17, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 454 (Canada 2, China 174, Cyprus 9, Egypt 13, Gabon 1, Greece 6, Hong Kong 14, Indonesia 1, Japan 3, Latvia 1, Lebanon 7, Netherlands 1, Nigeria 2, Romania 1, Russia 94, Singapore 3, South Korea 23, Syria 33, Taiwan 1, Turkey 24, UAE 1, Ukraine 32, US 6, Yemen 2) (2008)

Ports and terminals:

DefinitionField Listing
Phnom Penh, Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)



Military branches:

DefinitionField Listing
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces: Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer Navy, Royal Cambodian Air Force (2008)

Military service age and obligation:

DefinitionField Listing
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:

DefinitionField Listing
males age 16-49: 3,759,034
females age 16-49: 3,784,333 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

DefinitionField Listing
males age 16-49: 2,581,045
females age 16-49: 2,676,075 (2008 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

DefinitionField Listing
males age 16-49: 185,959
females age 16-49: 182,558 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:

DefinitionField ListingRank Order
3% (2005 est.)

Transnational Issues


Disputes – international:

DefinitionField Listing
Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary with missing boundary markers and claims of Thai encroachments into Cambodian territory; maritime boundary with Vietnam is hampered by unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; Thailand accuses Cambodia of obstructing inclusion of Thai areas near Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962, as part of a planned UN World Heritage site

Illicit drugs:

DefinitionField Listing
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

This page was last updated on 4 September 2008 by CIA WORLD FACEBOOK