[Country map of Cambodia]



Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand and Vietnam

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 181,040 sq km
land area: 176,520 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Oklahoma

Land boundaries: total 2,572 km, Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km

Coastline: 443 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: offshore islands and sections of the boundary with Vietnam are in dispute; maritime boundary with Vietnam not defined; parts of border with Thailand in dispute; maritime boundary with Thailand not clearly defined

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

Land use:
arable land: 16%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 3%
forest and woodland: 76%
other: 4%

Irrigated land: 920 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand are resulting in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); deforestation; soil erosion; in rural areas, a majority of the population does not have access to potable water
natural hazards: monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts
international agreements: party to - Marine Life Conservation, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping

Note: a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle Sap


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

Age structure:
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.)

Birth rate: 44.42 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 16.16 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 109.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 49.46 years
male: 48 years
female: 51 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.81 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian

Ethnic divisions: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%

Religions: Theravada Buddhism 95%, other 5%

Languages: Khmer (official), French

Literacy: 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

Digraph: CB

Type: multiparty liberal democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993

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

Constitution: promulgated September 1993

Legal system: currently being defined

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King Norodom SIHANOUK (reinstated 24 September 1993)
head of government: power shared between First Prime Minister Prince Norodom RANARIDDH and Second Prime Minister HUN SEN
cabinet: Council of Ministers; elected by the National Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral; a 120-member constituent assembly based on proportional representation within each province was established following the UN-supervised election in May 1993; the constituent assembly was transformed into a legislature in September 1993 after delegates promulgated the constitution

Judicial branch: Supreme Court provided for by the constitution has not yet been established and the future judicial system is yet to be defined by law

Political parties and leaders: National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC), Prince NORODOM RANARIDDH; Cambodian Pracheachon Party or Cambodian People's Party (CPP), CHEA SIM; Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party, SON SANN; Democratic Kampuchea (DK, also known as the Khmer Rouge), KHIEU SAMPHAN; Molinaka, PROM NEAKAREACH


Diplomatic representation in US: Ambassador SISOWATH SIRIRATH represents Cambodia at the United Nations

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles H. TWINING
embassy: 27 EO Street 240, Phnom Penh
mailing address: Box P, APO AP 96546
telephone: [855] (23) 26436, 26438
FAX: [855] (23) 26437

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


Overview: 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. The almost total lack of basic infrastructure in the countryside will hinder development and will contribute to a growing imbalance in growth between urban and rural areas over the near term. Moreover, the government's lack of experience in administering economic and technical assistance programs and rampant corruption among officials will slow the growth of critical public sector investment. Inflation for 1994 as a whole was less than a quarter of the 1992 rate and was declining during the year.

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.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $190 million
expenditures: $365 million, including capital expenditures of $120 million (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

External debt: $383 million to OECD members (1993)

Industrial production: growth rate 7.9% (1993 est.); accounts for 8% of GDP

capacity: 40,000 kW
production: 160 million kWh
consumption per capita: 14 kWh (1993)

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

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

Illicit drugs: increasingly used as a transshipment country for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing money-laundering center; high-level narcotics-related corruption in government; possible small-scale heroin production; large producer of cannibis

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $725 million; Western (non-US countries) (1970-89), $300 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $1.8 billion; donor countries and multilateral institutions pledged $880 million in assistance in 1992; IMF pledged $120 million in aid for 1995-98

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)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 655 km
narrow gauge: 655 km 1.000-m gauge

total: 34,100 km (some roads in serious disrepair)
paved: bituminous 3,000 km
unpaved: crushed stone, gravel, or improved earth 3,100 km; unimproved earth 28,000 km

Inland waterways: 3,700 km navigable all year to craft drawing 0.6 meters; 282 km navigable to craft drawing 1.8 meters

Ports: Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville), Kampot, Krong Kaoh Kong, Phnom Penh

Merchant marine: none

total: 22
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 2
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 3
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 10


Telephone system: NA telephones; service barely adequate for government requirements and virtually nonexistent for general public
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: international service limited to Vietnam and other adjacent countries

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Khmer Royal Armed Forces (KRAF): created in 1993 by the merger of the Cambodian People's Armed Forces and the two non-Communist resistance armies; note - the KRAF is also known as the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF)
Resistance forces: National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,255,050; males fit for military service 1,256,632; males reach military age (18) annually 70,707 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $85 million, 1.4% of GDP (1995 est.)