macrohistory & world report

Kingdom of Cambodia

Map of Cambodia

Cambodia (capital Phnom Penh) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Since 2004, garments, construction, agriculture, and tourism have driven Cambodia's growth. GDP climbed more than 7% per year between 2010 and 2013. The garment industry currently employs more about 400,000 people and accounts for about 70% of Cambodia's total exports. In 2005, exploitable oil deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial waters, representing a potential revenue stream for the government, if commercial extraction becomes feasible. Mining also is attracting some investor interest and the government has touted opportunities for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems. The tourism industry has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year since 2007 and reaching over 3 million visitors in 2012. Cambodia, nevertheless, remains one of the poorest countries in Asia and long-term economic development remains a daunting challenge, inhibited by endemic corruption, limited educational opportunities, high income inequality, and poor job prospects. Approximately 4 million people live on less than $1.25 per day, and 37% of Cambodian children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition. More than 50% of the population is less than 25 years old."

Economic growth rate
2011: 6.7%
2010: 6%
2009: minus 2%

Labor force in agriculture
2009: 57.6%

Unemployment rate
2007: 3.5%

Export commodities
clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

Export partners
2009: US 47.3%, Canada 7.5%, UK 6.8%, Germany 6.4%, Thailand 4.3%, Japan 4.1% )

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 46th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Lee equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and more equal than the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 5.8% of GDP


People living in an urban area
2010: 20%

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

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

Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 0.33 persons per 1,000 population per year.

Literacy (15 years and older who can read and write)
2004: males 84.7%, females 64.1%


Southeast Asia between Thailand and Vietnam. equivalent to 425 by 425 kilometers, or 319 by 319 miles. Capital: Phnom Penh

Recent History

January 11, 2009: In the New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof tells of buying two girls in Cambodia, one for $203 and the other for $150, in effect buying slaves, even getting a receipt. He returned them to their villages, without luck for one of them, who was hooked on methamphetamine "and fled back to the brothel world to feed her craving." Kristof writes of brothels owned by police, also of government moves having put about half of the brothels out of business in the last "couple of years.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.