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Quick Facts
CapitalPhnom Penh
Governmentmultiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993
Currencyriel (KHR)
Areatotal: 181,040 sq km
land: 176,520 sq km
water: 4,520 sq km
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
LanguageKhmer (official) 95%, French, English
ReligionTheravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%

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Following a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns; over 1 million displaced people died from execution or enforced hardships. A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and touched off 13 years of fighting. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy, as did the rapid diminishment of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces.


Map of Cambodia
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: 181,040 sq km
land: 176,520 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
Maritime claims 
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM
exclusive economic zone: 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 
timber, gemstones, some iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential
Land use 
arable land: 20.96%
permanent crops: 0.61%
other: 78.43% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
2,700 sq km (1998 est.)
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, a majority of the population does not have access to potable water; toxic waste delivery from Taiwan sparked unrest in Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville) in December 1998
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
Geography - note 
a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle Sap


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 40.7% (male 2,646,883; female 2,550,015)
15-64 years: 55.8% (male 3,373,692; female 3,758,736)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 182,149; female 263,849) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
2.24% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
32.93 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
10.51 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
64 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 57.1 years
female: 59.5 years (2002 est.)
male: 54.81 years
Total fertility rate 
4.66 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
4.04% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
220,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
14,000 (1999 est.)
noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian
Ethnic groups 
Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 35%
male: 48%
female: 22% (1990 est.)


Country name 
conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia
conventional short form: Cambodia
local short form: Kampuchea
local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea
former: Khmer Republic, Kampuchea Republic
Government type 
multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993
Phnom Penh
Administrative divisions 
20 provinces (khett, singular and plural) and 4 municipalities* (krong, singular and plural); Banteay Mean Cheay, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong, Keb*, Kracheh, Mondol Kiri, Otdar Mean Cheay, Pailin*, Phnum Penh*, Pouthisat, Preah Seihanu* (Sihanoukville), Preah Vihear, Prey Veng, Rotanah Kiri, Siem Reab, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev
9 November 1953 (from France)
National holiday 
Independence Day, 9 November (1953)
promulgated 21 September 1993
Legal system 
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 in recent years
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch 
chief of state: King Norodom SIHANOUK (reinstated 24 September 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister HUN SEN (since 30 November 1998) and Deputy Prime Ministers SAR KHENG (since NA) and TOL LAH (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; 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 apppointed by the king
Legislative branch 
bicameral consists of the National Assembly (122 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Senate (61 seats; two members appointed by the monarch, two elected by the National Assembly, and 57 elected by "functional constituencies"; members serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly - last held 26 July 1998 (next to be held NA July 2003); Senate - last held 2 March 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CPP 41%, FUNCINPEC 32%, SRP 14%, other 13%; seats by party - CPP 64, FUNCINPEC 43, SRP 15; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CPP 31, FUNCINPEC 21, SRP 7, other 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 
Buddhist Liberal Party or BLP [IENG MOULY]; Cambodian Pracheachon Party or Cambodian People's Party or CPP [CHEA SIM]; Khmer Citizen Party or KCP [NGUON SOEUR]; National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or FUNCINPEC [Prince NORODOM RANARIDDH]; Sam Rangsi Party or SRP (formerly Khmer Nation Party or KNP) [SAM RANGSI]
Political pressure groups and leaders 
International organization participation 
ACCT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador ROLAND ENG
FAX: [1] (202) 726-8381
telephone: [1] (202) 726-7742
chancery: 4500 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles Aaron RAY
embassy: 16, Street 228 (between streets 51 and 63), Phnom Penh
mailing address: Box P, APO AP 96546
telephone: [855] (23) 216-436
FAX: [855] (23) 216-437
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


Economy - overview 
Cambodia's economy slowed dramatically in 1997-98 due to the regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting. Foreign investment and tourism fell off. In 1999, the first full year of peace in 30 years, progress was made on economic reforms and growth resumed at 5%. GDP growth for 2000 had been projected to reach 5.5%, but the worst flooding in 70 years severely damaged agricultural crops, and high oil prices hurt industrial production, and growth for the year is estimated at only 4%. In 2001, severe floods damaged an estimated 15% of the area devoted to rice. Tourism now is Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals up 34% in 2000 and up another 40% in 2001 before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. The long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid. On the brighter side, the government is addressing these issues with assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors.
purchasing power parity - $18.7 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
5.3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $1,500 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 50%
industry: 15%
services: 35% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line 
36% (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 34% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
40 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
1.6% (2000 est.)
Labor force 
6 million (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 80% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 
2.8% (1999 est.)
revenues: $363 million
expenditures: $532 million, including capital expenditures of $225 million (2000 est.)
tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles
Industrial production growth rate 
Electricity - production 
132 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 62%
hydro: 38%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
122.76 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
rice, rubber, corn, vegetables
$1.05 billion f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities 
timber, garments, rubber, rice, fish
Exports - partners 
US 46.4%, Vietnam 26.1%, Germany 5.6%, Singapore 5.0%, UK 3.9% (2000)
$1.4 billion f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities 
petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles
Imports - partners 
Singapore 22.5%, Thailand 19.8%, Hong Kong 15.6%, China 4.9%, Vietnam 4.9% (2000)
Debt - external 
$829 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
$548 million pledged in grants and concessional loans for 2001 by international donors
riel (KHR)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
riels per US dollar - 3,895.0 (January 2002), 3,918.5 (2001), 3,840.8 (2000), 3,807.8 (1999), 3,744.4 (1998), 2,946.3 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use 
21,800 (mid-1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
80,000 (2000)
Telephone system 
general assessment: adequate landline and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; rural areas have little telephone service
domestic: NA
international: 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)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 7, FM 3, shortwave 3 (1999)
1.34 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
5 (1999)
94,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
2 (2000)
Internet users 
10,000 (2002)


total: 603 km
narrow gauge: 603 km 1.000-m gauge (2001 est.)
total: 35,769 km
paved: 4,165 km
unpaved: 31,604 km (1997)
3,700 km
note: navigable all year to craft drawing 0.6 m or less; 282 km navigable to craft drawing as much as 1.8 m
Ports and harbors 
Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville), Kampot, Krong Kaoh Kong, Phnom Penh
Merchant marine 
total: 404 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,889,404 GRT/2,740,232 DWT
ships by type: bulk 37, cargo 312, chemical tanker 2, combination bulk 5, container 7, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 2, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 15, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 9, short-sea passenger 2
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Aruba 1, Belize 8, British Virgin Islands 1, Bulgaria 3, China 21, Cyprus 15, Denmark 1, Egypt 7, Estonia 1, Georgia 1, Germany 1, Greece 12, Honduras 5, Hong Kong 12, Iceland 1, Indonesia 2, Iran 1, Ireland 1, Italy 1, Japan 5, Jordan 1, Latvia 2, Lebanon 5, Liberia 5, Lithuania 1, Malta 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 2, Panama 7, Romania 4, Russia 67, Saint Kitts and Nevis 10, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4, Singapore 15, South Korea 24, Syria 13, Thailand 1, Turkey 22, Ukraine 13, United Arab Emirates 2, United Kingdom 1, United States 5, Vietnam 2, Virgin Islands (UK) 1 (2002 est.)
20 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 16 15
under 914 m: 2 1 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 13
2 (2002)


Military branches 
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF): Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age 
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 2,990,790 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 1,673,713 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 162,643 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$112 million (FY01 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
3% (FY01 est.)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
demarcation of boundaries with Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam is nearing completion; accuses Thailand of moving or destroying boundary markers and encroachment, of not respecting its claims, and of sealing off access to the Preah Vihear temple ruin awarded to Cambodia by the ICJ in 1962; accuses Vietnam of territorial encroachments and initiating armed border incidents in seven provinces, despite substantial demarcation efforts to date; disputes several offshore islands with Vietnam, which prevents delimitation of a maritime boundary
Illicit drugs 
narcotics-related corruption reportedly involving some in the government, military, and police; possible small-scale opium, heroin, and amphetamine production; large producer of cannabis for the international market; vulnerable to money laundering due to its cash-based economy and porous borders