Cambodia Quick Facts and Figures

Official Name: Kingdom of Cambodia

Capital: Phnom Penh

Time Zone:  UTC+7

International code: +855

Area: 181,035 sq km (69,900 sq miles).

Population:  14.31 million (2011) World Bank

Population density: 81.7 per sq km.

People: 94% ethnic Khmers, 4% Chinese, 1% Vietnamese

Religion:  Buddhist 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2%

Life expectancy:

Total population: 63.41 years
Male: 61.01 years
Female: 65.93 years (2013 est.)

Literacy rate:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 77.6%
male: 85.1%
female: 70.9% (2008 census)

Form of Government:

multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Head of State:

King Norodom Sihamoni since 2004

Head of Government:

Prime Minister Hun Sen since 1985

National Flag:

 
The national flag of Cambodia comprises 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; red and blue are traditional Cambodian co

 

Currency: Riel

The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel however US dollars are widely accepted; in fact many businesses set their prices in US dollars. It is however wise to carry some riel around with you for small purchases.

Labor force by occupation:

agriculture: 55.8%
industry: 16.9%
services: 27.3% (2010 est.)

Agriculture: rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, cassava (manioc), silk

Industries: tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles

Exports – commodities: clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

Exports – partners: US 39.5%, Canada 8.2%, Germany 7.8%, UK 7.5%, Vietnam 6%, Japan 4.3% (2011)

Importscommodities:

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

Imports – partners:

Thailand 24.6%, Vietnam 20.6%, China 19.9%, Singapore 7.8%, Hong Kong 6% (2011)

Brief History of Cambodia

Little is known of the early history of Cambodia, although there is evidence of habitation in parts of the country as far back as 4000BC. It is also known that Chinese and Indian traders exchanged goods with people living on the coasts of present-day Cambodia and Vietnam in the early AD centuries.

According to Chinese chroniclers, a kingdom known as ‘Funan’ flourished between AD300–600. A dynasty founded by the prince Jayavarman – possibly descended from the rulers of Funan – ruled from settlements in the eastern part of the country between around AD790 and the 11th century. During this period Cambodian power spread westwards into parts of Thailand. The golden era of the Khmer dynasty, from the 9th to the 15th centuries, made the kingdom of Kambuja (from where modern-day Cambodia gets its name) one of the most powerful in Asia.

A long period of decline followed, before the country fell under French colonial clutches in the 1800s. Independence was finally achieved in 1953, after which Norodom Sihanouk was appointed king. His first reign lasted until the 1970s, when a coup d’etat and the Khmer Rouge led to four years of repression and the execution of tens of thousands.

Under the leadership of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge committed  genocide, masquerading it under a policy of social engineering. They executed academics, the wealthy, and even those who wore glasses. In 1979 the Vietnamese army captured Phnom Penh and occupied Cambodia. Sihanouk returned to the throne in 1993. His son, the current monarch, took over, following his father’s abdication in 2004. Politically, Hun Sen and the extreme-left Cambodian People’s Party recently won the 2012 election, with 77% of the votes, and have been in power since a disputed election in 1998.