The World Factbook (1990)/Cambodia

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 See regional map IX


Total area: 181,040 km²; land area: 176,520 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Oklahoma

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

Coastline: 443 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: offshore islands and three sections of the boundary with Vietnam are in dispute; maritime boundary with Vietnam not defined; occupied by Vietnam on 25 December 1978

Climate: tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to October); dry season (December to March); 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: 16% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 3% meadows and pastures; 76% forest and woodland; 4% other; includes 1% irrigated

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

Note: buffer between Thailand and Vietnam


Population: 6,991,107 (July 1990), growth rate 2.2% (1990)

Birth rate: 39 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 16 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 128 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 47 years male, 50 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 4.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Cambodian(s); adjective—Cambodian

Ethnic divisions: 90% Khmer (Cambodian), 5% Chinese, 5% other minorities

Religion: 95% Theravada Buddhism, 5% other

Language: Khmer (official), French

Literacy: 48%

Labor force: 2.5-3.0 million; 80% agriculture (1988 est.)

Organized labor: Kampuchea Federation of Trade Unions (FSC); under government control


Long-form name: none

Type: disputed between the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK) led by Prince NORODOM SIHANOUK and the People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) led by HENG SAMRIN

Capital: Phnom Penh

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (khêt, singular and plural) and 1 autonomous municipality* (rottatheanei, singular and plural); Bǎtdâmbâng, Kâmpóng Cham, Kâmpóng Chhnǎng, Kâmpóng Spoe, Kâmpóng Thum, Kâmpôt, Kândal, Kaôh Kǒng, Krâchéh, Môndól Kiri, Phnum Pénh*, Poǔthǐsǎt, Preǎh Vihéar, Prey Vêng, Rôtânôkiri, Siěmréab-Otdâr Méanchey, Stǒeng Trêng, Svay Riěng, Takêv; note—there may be a new province of Banteay Méanchey and Siěmréab-Otdâr Méanchey may have been divided into two provinces named Siěmréab and Otdâr Méanchey

Independence: 9 November 1953 (from France)

Constitution: 27 June 1981

National holidays: CGDK—Independence Day, 17 April (1975); PRK—Liberation Day, 7 January (1979)

Executive branch: CGDK—president, prime minister; PRK—chairman of the Council of State, Council of State, chairman of the Council of Ministers, Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: CGDK—none; PRK—unicameral National Assembly

Judicial branch: CGDK none; PRK—Supreme People's Court

Leaders: Chief of State—CGDK—President Prince NORODOM SIHANOUK (since NA July 1982); PRK—Chairman of the Council of State HENG SAMRIN (since 27 June 1981);

Head of Government—CGDK—Prime Minister SON SANN (since NA July 1982); PRK—Chairman of the Council of Ministers HUN SEN (since 14 January 1985)

Political parties and leaders: CGDK—three resistance groups including Democratic Kampuchea (DK, also known as the Khmer Rouge) under Khieu Samphan, Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF) under Son Sann, and National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC) under Prince Norodom Sihanouk; PRK—Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party (KPRP) led by Heng Samrin

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: CGDK—none; PRK—National Assembly—last held 1 May 1981; in February 1986 the Assembly voted to extend its term for five years (next to be held by March 1990); results—KPRP is the only party; seats—(123 total) KPRP 123

Member of: ADB, Colombo Plan, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTERPOL, IRC, ITU, Mekong Committee (inactive), NAM, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO for CGDK; none for PRK

Diplomatic representation: none

Flag: CGDK—red with the yellow silhouette of a stylized three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat in the center; Non-Communists—three horizontal bands of blue, red (double width), and blue with a white stylized temple representing Angkor Wat centered on the red band; PRK—red with the yellow silhouette of a stylized five-towered temple representing Angkor Wat in the center


Overview: Cambodia is a desperately poor country whose economic development has been stymied by deadly political infighting. The economy is based on agriculture and related industries. Over the past decade Cambodia has been slowly recovering from its near destruction by war and political upheaval. It still remains, however, one of the world's poorest countries, with an estimated per capita GDP of about $130. The food situation is precarious; during the 1980s famine has been averted only through international relief. In 1986 the production level of rice, the staple food crop, was able to meet only 80% of domestic needs. The biggest success of the nation's recovery program has been in new rubber plantings and in fishing. Industry, other than rice processing, is almost nonexistent. Foreign trade is primarily with the USSR and Vietnam. Statistical data on the economy continues to be sparse and unreliable.

GDP: $890 million, per capita $130; real growth rate 0% (1989 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $NA; expenditures $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Exports: $32 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—natural rubber, rice, pepper, wood; partners—Vietnam, USSR, Eastern Europe, Japan, India

Imports: $147 million (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—international food aid; fuels, consumer goods; partners—Vietnam, USSR, Eastern Europe, Japan, India

External debt: $600 million (1989)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 126,000 kW capacity; 150 million kWh produced, 21 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $719 million; Western (non-US) countries (1970-85), $270 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $950 million

Currency: riel (plural—riels); 1 riel (CR) = 100 sen

Exchange rates: riels (CR) per US$1—218 (November 1989) 100.00 (1987), 30.00 (1986), 7.00 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 612 km 1.000-meter gauge, government owned

Highways: 13,351 km total; 2,622 km bituminous; 7,105 km crushed stone, gravel, or improved earth; 3,624 km unimproved earth; some roads in disrepair

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

Ports: Kâmpóng Saôm, Phnom Penh

Airports: 22 total, 9 usable; 6 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 2 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 4 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: service barely adequate for government requirements and virtually nonexistent for general public; international service limited to Vietnam and other adjacent countries; stations—1 AM, no FM, 1 TV

Defense Forces

Branches: PRK—People's Republic of Kampuchea Armed Forces; Communist resistance forces National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge); non-Communist resistance forces Sihanoukist National Army (ANS) and Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF)

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,857,129; 1,025,456 fit for military service; 61,649 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: NA