Demographics of Cambodia

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Number of inhabitants between 1961 and 2001 in thousands. Note the decrease during the Khmer Rouge years (1975-1979). FAO Data, Demographics of Cambodia

Between 1874 and 1921, the total population of Cambodia increased from about 946,000 to 2.4 million. By 1950 it had increased to between 3,710, 107 and 4,073,967, and in 1962 it had reached 5.7 million. From the 1960s until 1975, the population of Cambodia increased by about 2.2 percent yearly, the lowest increase in Southeast Asia. By 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took power, it was estimated at 7.3 million. Of this total an estimated one million to two million reportedly died between 1975 and 1978. In 1981 the PRK gave the official population figure as nearly 6.7 million, although approximately 6.3 million to 6.4 million is probably a more accurate one. The average annual rate of population growth from 1978 to 1985 was 2.3 percent (see table 2, Appendix A). Life expectancy at birth was 44.2 years for males and 43.3 years for females in 1959. By 1970 life expectancy had increased by about 2.5 years since 1945. The greater longevity for females apparently reflected improved health practices during maternity and childbirth.

In 1959 about 45 percent of the population was under 15 years of age; by 1962 this figure had increased slightly to 46 percent. In 1962 an estimated 52 percent of the population was between 15 and 64 years of age, while 2 percent was older than 65. The percentage of males and females in the three groups was almost the same.

Demographic data from the CIA World Factbook


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 and death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 37.3% (male 2,559,734/female 2,510,235)
15-64 years: 59.7% (male 3,887,642/female 4,232,313)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 150,862/female 266,283) (2005 est.)

Median age

Total: 19.91 years
Male: 19.16 years
Female: 20.79 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate

1.81% (2005 est.)

Birth rate

27.08 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate

8.97 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Sex ratio

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.57 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 71.48 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 80.13 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 62.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 58.87 years
Male: 55.92 years
Female: 61.96 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.44 children born/woman (2005 est.)


Adult prevalence rate: 2.6% (2003 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS: 170,000 (2003 est.)
Deaths: 15,000 (2003 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, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis are high risks in some locations (2004)


Noun: Cambodian(s)
Adjective: Cambodian

Ethnic groups

Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%. The population of Cambodia has been fairly homogeneous. In 1962 about 80 percent of the population was ethnic Khmer. The remaining 20 percent included Chinese, Vietnamese, Cham, Khmer Loeu, Europeans. By 1981, as a result of the Vietnamese repatriation in 1970 to 1971 and the deaths and emigration of large numbers of Cham and Chinese, ethnic Khmer accounted for about 90 percent or more of the population.


Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%


Khmer (official) 95%, French, English


Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 69.4%
Male: 80.8%
Female: 59.3% (2002)


Template:CIA WFB 2005