Photos of Cambodia



Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863, and it became part of French Indochina in 1887. Following the Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. In April 1975, after a seven-year struggle, communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, and touched off 20 years of civil war.

The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a cease-fire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government and renewed political stability. The remaining elements of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in early 1999. Some of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders were tried for crimes against humanity by a hybrid UN-Cambodian tribunal supported by international assistance. In 2018, the tribunal heard its final cases, but it remains in operation to hear appeals. Elections in July 2003 were relatively peaceful, but it took one year of negotiations between contending political parties before a coalition government was formed. In October 2004, King Norodom SIHANOUK abdicated the throne and his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI, was selected to succeed him. Local (Commune Council) elections were held in Cambodia in 2012, with little of the violence that preceded prior elections. National elections in July 2013 were disputed, with the opposition - the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) - boycotting the National Assembly. The political impasse was ended nearly a year later, with the CNRP agreeing to enter parliament in exchange for commitments by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to undertake electoral and legislative reforms. The CNRP made further gains in local commune elections in June 2017, accelerating sitting Prime Minister HUN SEN’s efforts to marginalize the CNRP before national elections in 2018. HUN SEN arrested CNRP President KEM SOKHA in September 2017. The Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP in November 2017 and banned its leaders from participating in politics for at least five years. The CNRP’s seats in the National Assembly were redistributed to smaller, less influential opposition parties, while all of the CNRP’s 5,007 seats in the commune councils throughout the country were reallocated to the CPP. With the CNRP banned, the CPP swept the 2018 national elections, winning all 125 National Assembly seats and effectively turning the country into a one-party state.

Cambodia has strong and growing economic and political ties with its large neighbor to the north, China. More than 53% of foreign investment in the country in 2021 came from China, and Beijing has provided over $15 billion in financial assistance since the 1990s. China accounted for 443 percent of Cambodia’s foreign debt in 2021. The CPP also partly sees Chinese support as a counterbalance to Thailand and Vietnam and to international criticism of the CPP’s human rights and antidemocratic record.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos

Geographic coordinates

13 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references

Southeast Asia


total: 181,035 sq km

land: 176,515 sq km

water: 4,520 sq km

comparison ranking: total 90

Area - comparative

one and a half times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Oklahoma

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 2,530 km

border countries (3): Laos 555 km; Thailand 817 km; Vietnam 1158 km


443 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm


tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation


mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north


highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m

lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m

mean elevation: 126 m

Natural resources

oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 32.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 8.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 56.5% (2018 est.)

other: 11.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

3,540 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Tonle Sap - 2,700-16,000 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Mekong (shared with China [s], Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam [m]) - 4,350 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Pacific Ocean drainage: Mekong (805,604 sq km)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the southeast, particularly in and around the capital of Phnom Penh; further distribution is linked closely to the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers

Natural hazards

monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts

Geography - note

a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle Sap (Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake)

People and Society


16,891,245 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 72


noun: Cambodian(s)

adjective: Cambodian

Ethnic groups

Khmer 95.4%, Cham 2.4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 0.7% (2019-20 est.)


Khmer (official) 95.8%, minority languages 2.9%, Chinese 0.6%, Vietnamese 0.5%, other 0.2% (2019 est.)

major-language sample(s):
សៀវភៅហេតុការណនៅលើពិភពលោក។ ទីតាំងពត៏មានមូលដានគ្រឹះយាងសំខាន់។. (Khmer)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Khmer audio sample:


Buddhist (official) 97.1%, Muslim 2%, Christian 0.3%, other 0.5% (2019 est.)

Demographic profile

Cambodia is a predominantly rural country with among the most ethnically and religiously homogenous populations in Southeast Asia: more than 95% of its inhabitants are Khmer and more than 95% are Buddhist.  The population’s size and age structure shrank and then rebounded during the 20th century as a result of conflict and mass death.  During the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979 as many as 1.5 to 2 million people are estimated to have been killed or died as a result of starvation, disease, or overwork – a loss of about 25% of the population.  At the same time, emigration was high, and the fertility rate sharply declined.  In the 1980s, after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge, fertility nearly doubled and reached pre-Khmer Rouge levels of close to 7 children per woman, reflecting in part higher infant survival rates.  The baby boom was followed by a sustained fertility decline starting in the early 1990s, eventually decreasing from 3.8 in 2000 to 2.9 in 2010, although the rate varied by income, education, and rural versus urban location.  Despite continuing fertility reduction, Cambodia still has a youthful population that is likely to maintain population growth through population momentum. Improvements have also been made in mortality, life expectancy, and contraceptive prevalence, although reducing malnutrition among children remains stalled.  Differences in health indicators are pronounced between urban and rural areas, which experience greater poverty.

Cambodia is predominantly a country of migration, driven by the search for work, education, or marriage.  Internal migration is more prevalent than international migration, with rural to urban migration being the most common, followed by rural to rural migration.  Urban migration focuses on the pursuit of unskilled or semi-skilled jobs in Phnom Penh, with men working mainly in the construction industry and women working in garment factories.  Most Cambodians who migrate abroad do so illegally using brokers because it is cheaper and faster than through formal channels, but doing so puts them at risk of being trafficked for forced labor or sexual exploitation.  Young Cambodian men and women migrate short distances across the Thai border using temporary passes to work in agriculture, while others migrate long distances primarily into Thailand and Malaysia for work in agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, and domestic service.  Cambodia was a refugee sending country in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime, its ousting by the Vietnamese invasion, and the resultant civil war.  Tens of thousands of Cambodians fled to Thailand; more than 100,000 were resettled in the US in the 1980s.  Cambodia signed a multi-million dollar agreement with Australia in 2014 to voluntarily resettle refugees seeking shelter in Australia.  However, the deal has proven to be a failure because of poor conditions and a lack of support services for the few refugees willing to accept the offer.

Age structure

0-14 years: 29.47% (male 2,518,910/female 2,459,235)

15-64 years: 65.39% (male 5,362,180/female 5,682,247)

65 years and over: 5.14% (2023 est.) (male 308,931/female 559,742)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 53.4

youth dependency ratio: 45

elderly dependency ratio: 8.5

potential support ratio: 11.8 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 27.6 years (2023 est.)

male: 26.6 years

female: 28.5 years

comparison ranking: total 152

Population growth rate

1.04% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 94

Birth rate

18.8 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 77

Death rate

5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 176

Net migration rate

-2.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 175

Population distribution

population concentrated in the southeast, particularly in and around the capital of Phnom Penh; further distribution is linked closely to the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers


urban population: 25.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.06% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

2.281 million PHNOM PENH (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.55 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.3 years (2021-22 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

218 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 42

Infant mortality rate

total: 28.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 32.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 25.1 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 54

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71 years (2023 est.)

male: 69.2 years

female: 73 years

comparison ranking: total population 169

Total fertility rate

2.2 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 88

Gross reproduction rate

1.08 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.3% of population

rural: 80.6% of population

total: 85.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.7% of population

rural: 19.4% of population

total: 14.9% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

7.5% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.19 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

1.9 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 69.3% of population

total: 76.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 30.7% of population

total: 23.2% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria

animal contact diseases: Rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

3.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 188

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 4.56 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 4.12 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.41 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 87

Tobacco use

total: 21.1% (2020 est.)

male: 36.1% (2020 est.)

female: 6% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 79

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

16.3% (2022)

comparison ranking: 29

Education expenditures

3.1% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 155


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 83.9%

male: 88.4%

female: 79.8% (2021)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 1.8% (2021 est.)

male: 1.6%

female: 2.1%

comparison ranking: total 201


Environment - current issues

illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing and overfishing; coastal ecosystems choked by sediment washed loose from deforested areas inland

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea


tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation

Land use

agricultural land: 32.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 8.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 56.5% (2018 est.)

other: 11.4% (2018 est.)


urban population: 25.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.06% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.84% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 57

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 87

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 17.8 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 9.92 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 14.88 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1.089 million tons (2014 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Tonle Sap - 2,700-16,000 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Mekong (shared with China [s], Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam [m]) - 4,350 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Pacific Ocean drainage: Mekong (805,604 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 100 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 30 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 2.05 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

476.1 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia

conventional short form: Cambodia

local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic transliteration)

local short form: Kampuchea

former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People's Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia

etymology: the English name Cambodia is an anglicization of the French Cambodge, which is the French transliteration of the native name Kampuchea

Government type

parliamentary constitutional monarchy


name: Phnom Penh

geographic coordinates: 11 33 N, 104 55 E

time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: Phnom Penh translates as "Penh's Hill" in Khmer; the city takes its name from the present Wat Phnom (Hill Temple), the tallest religious structure in the city, whose establishment, according to legend, was inspired in the 14th century by a pious nun, Daun PENH

Administrative divisions

24 provinces (khett, singular and plural) and 1 municipality (krong, singular and plural)

provinces: Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Kampot, Kandal, Kep, Koh Kong, Kratie, Mondolkiri, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Preah Sihanouk, Preah Vihear, Prey Veng, Pursat, Ratanakiri, Siem Reap, Stung Treng, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Tbong Khmum

municipalities: Phnom Penh (Phnum Penh)


9 November 1953 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 9 November (1953)


history: previous 1947; latest promulgated 21 September 1993

amendments: proposed by the monarch, by the prime minister, or by the president of the National Assembly if supported by one fourth of the Assembly membership; passage requires two-thirds majority of the Assembly membership; constitutional articles on the multiparty democratic form of government and the monarchy cannot be amended; amended several times, latest 2022

Legal system

civil law system (influenced by the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia) customary law, Communist legal theory, and common law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cambodia

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King Norodom SIHAMONI (since 29 October 2004)

head of government: Prime Minister HUN MANET (since 22 August 2023); note - MANET succeeded his father, HUN SEN, who had been prime minister since 1985

cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: monarch chosen by the 9-member Royal Council of the Throne from among all eligible males of royal descent; following legislative elections, a member of the majority party or majority coalition named prime minister by the Chairman of the National Assembly and appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament of Cambodia consists of:
Senate (62 seats; 58 indirectly elected by parliamentarians and commune councils, 2 indirectly elected by the National Assembly, and 2 appointed by the monarch; members serve 6-year terms)

National Assembly (125 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

Senate - last held on 25 February 2018 (next to be held in 2024)
National Assembly - last held on 23 July 2023 (next to be held in July 2028)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - CPP 96%, FUNCINPEC 2.4%, KNUP 1.6%; seats by party - CPP 58; FUNCINPEC 4; composition (as of October 2023) - men 52, women 10, percent of women 16.1%
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CPP 82.4%, FUNCINPEC 9.2%, KNUP 1.7%, CYP 1.3%, other 5.4% (14 other parties received votes); seats by party - CPP 125, FUNCINPEC 5; composition (as of October 2023) - men 112, women 13, percent of women 10.4%; note - total Parliament of Cambodia percent of women 12.3%

note: the CPP had no meaningful opposition in the July 2023 legislative election as the only serious challenger - the Candlelight Party - was disqualified on a technicality in advance of the election; the EU, UN, and US condemned the poll as neither free nor fair

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Council (organized into 5- and 9-judge panels and includes a court chief and deputy chief); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - in 1997, the Cambodian Government requested UN assistance in establishing trials to prosecute former Khmer Rouge senior leaders for crimes against humanity committed during the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime; the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (also called the Khmer Rouge Tribunal) was established in 2006 and began hearings for the first case in 2009; court proceedings remain ongoing in 2021

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Council judge candidates recommended by the Supreme Council of Magistracy, a 17-member body chaired by the monarch and includes other high-level judicial officers; judges of both courts appointed by the monarch; Supreme Court judges appointed for life; Constitutional Council judges appointed for 9-year terms with one-third of the court renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Appellate Court; provincial and municipal courts; Military Court

Political parties and leaders

Candlelight Party or CP (the latest incarnation of the Sam Rainsy Party or SRP, which joined with the Human Rights Party or HRP to form the Cambodia National Rescue Party or CNRP in 2012; the CNRP was dissolved in 2017)
Cambodian People's Party or CPP [HUN SEN]
Cambodian Youth Party or CYP [PICH Sros]
Grassroots Democratic Party [YENG Virak]
Khmer National Unity Party or KNUP (an offshoot of FUNCINPEC) [NHEK BUN CHHAY]
Khmer Will Party (aligned with Candlelight Party in 2023) [KONG Monika]
League for Democracy Party or LDP [KHEM Veasna]
National United Front for Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or FUNCINPEC [Prince NORODOM CHAKRAVUTH]

note 1: 42 parties had registered with the Cambodian Government at the beginning of 2023

note 2: following the 2017 commune election, the CPP-led government arrested the CNRP president Kem SOKHA for treason, dissolved the party on similar grounds, and forced most of its senior leadership into exile, where the party’s former president, Sam RAINSY, had been living since late 2015; opposition parties, particularly the Candlelight Party, continue to report, intimidation, harassment, and arrests by the Cambodian Government; in May 2023, the Cambodian Government disqualified the Candlelight Party, which is the main opposition party, from the July 2023 election

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador KEO Chhea (since 19 April 2022)

chancery: 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

telephone: [1] (202) 726-7742

FAX: [1] (202) 726-8381

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador W. Patrick MURPHY (since 23 October 2019)

embassy: #1, Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh

mailing address: 4540 Phnom Penh Place, Washington DC  20521-4540

telephone: [855] (23) 728-000

FAX: [855] (23) 728-700

email address and website:

Flag description

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 colors

note: only national flag to prominently incorporate an actual identifiable building into its design (a few other national flags - those of Afghanistan, San Marino, Portugal, and Spain - show small generic buildings as part of their coats of arms on the flag)

National symbol(s)

Angkor Wat temple, kouprey (wild ox); national colors: red, blue

National anthem

name: "Nokoreach" (Royal Kingdom)

lyrics/music: CHUON NAT/F. PERRUCHOT and J. JEKYLL

note: adopted 1941, restored 1993; the anthem, based on a Cambodian folk tune, was restored after the defeat of the Communist regime

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 4 (all cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Angkor; Temple of Preah Vihear; Sambor Prei Kuk; Koh Ker: Archaeological Site of Ancient Lingapora or Chok Gargyar


Economic overview

one of the fastest growing economies; tourism and clothing exports; substantial manufacturing and construction sectors; COVID-19 declines and the suspension of EU market preferential access; massive reductions in poverty, but rural areas remain disproportionately poor

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$72.238 billion (2021 est.)
$70.116 billion (2020 est.)
$72.356 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 103

Real GDP growth rate

3.03% (2021 est.)
-3.1% (2020 est.)
7.05% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 144

Real GDP per capita

$4,400 (2021 est.)
$4,300 (2020 est.)
$4,500 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 182

GDP (official exchange rate)

$22.09 billion (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.92% (2021 est.)
2.94% (2020 est.)
1.94% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 123

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B2 (2007)

Standard & Poors rating: N/A (2014)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 25.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.8% (2017 est.)

services: 41.9% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 206; industry 61; agriculture 28

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 76% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 5.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 68.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -73% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, rice, maize, vegetables, sugar cane, soybeans, rubber, oil palm fruit, bananas, pork


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

Industrial production growth rate

9.37% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 34

Labor force

9.345 million (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 57

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 48.7%

industry: 19.9%

services: 31.5% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate

0.61% (2021 est.)
0.33% (2020 est.)
0.15% (2019 est.)

note: high underemployment, according to official statistics

comparison ranking: 226

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 1.8% (2021 est.)

male: 1.6%

female: 2.1%

comparison ranking: total 201

Average household expenditures

on food: 42.3% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 2.2% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 28% (2013 est.)


revenues: $7.254 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $6.452 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 97

Public debt

30.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
29.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 171

Taxes and other revenues

17.89% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 112

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$12.321 billion (2021 est.)
-$2.197 billion (2020 est.)
-$4.065 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 197


$20.126 billion (2021 est.)
$20.29 billion (2020 est.)
$21.072 billion (2019 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

comparison ranking: 87

Exports - partners

United States 35%, China 7%, Germany 7%, Vietnam 7%, Japan 6% (2021)

Exports - commodities

clothing and footwear, trunks and cases, rice, rubber, light fixtures (2021)

note: Cambodian methamphetamine production remains a significant illicit trade export


$32.83 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$23.091 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$25.516 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 72

Imports - partners

China 27%, Thailand 25%, Vietnam 15%, Singapore 8% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, clothing, gold, cars, flavored water (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$20.27 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$21.328 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$18.771 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 66

Debt - external

$11.87 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$10.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 107

Exchange rates

riels (KHR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
4,098.723 (2021 est.)
4,092.783 (2020 est.)
4,061.149 (2019 est.)
4,051.167 (2018 est.)
4,050.58 (2017 est.)


Electricity access

population without electricity: 4 million (2020)

electrification - total population: 82.5% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 98.9% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 77.1% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 2.954 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 10,288,340,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 3.063 billion kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.187 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 109; transmission/distribution losses 106; imports 52; exports 156; consumption 100

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 52% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 45.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 2.974 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 3.311 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 64,100 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 159

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 210

Refined petroleum products - imports

43,030 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 86

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

13.844 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 4.837 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 9.007 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 98

Energy consumption per capita

13.629 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 142


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 40,296 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2021 est.) less than 1

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 162

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 19,899,790 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 61

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Cambodia’s mobile-dominated telecoms sector spent much of 2020 battling two major challenges: the global pandemic, and the government’s retraction of trial licenses for the rollout of 5G; citing concerns about waste and inefficiency occurring if each operator built a separate 5G infrastructure in order to maximize their own network’s coverage (and, presumably, to capture greater market share), the regulator withdrew the licenses that the operators had been using for their 5G trials; this was despite all of the operators having already announced a successful completion of their trials; more than a year later, the market is still waiting on the government to release its 5G policy and roadmap, along with the allocation of spectrum and approvals to permit commercial operation; there is little expectation of any further progress happening before the start of 2022; the mobile network operators have maintained their focus and investment strategies on upgrading and expanding their existing LTE networks around the country, and to 5G-enable their base stations; when the 5G market eventually arrives, the underlying infrastructure will at least be ready to support a rapid adoption of the higher-value applications and services; the mobile market fell back slightly during 2020 and 2021 (in terms of total subscriber numbers) as the Covid-19 crisis wore on, but it remains in relatively good health as mobile users increased their data usage over the period; the mobile broadband market experienced a small but very rare contraction in 2020, although rates were already very high in this area; there is likely to be a quick rebound to previous levels once economic conditions stabilize, followed by a modest rates of growth over the next five years; the number of fixed telephony lines in service continues to fall sharply as customers migrate to mobile platforms for both voice and data; the lack of any widespread fixed-line infrastructure has had a flow-on effect in the fixed-line broadband market, a sector that also remains largely under-developed (2021)

domestic: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, aided by competition among service providers, is about 120 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 855; landing points for MCT and AAE-1 via submarine cables providing communication to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) (2019)

Broadcast media

mixture of state-owned, joint public-private, and privately owned broadcast media; 27 TV broadcast stations with most operating on multiple channels, including 1 state-operated station broadcasting from multiple locations, 11 stations either jointly operated or privately owned with some broadcasting from several locations; multi-channel cable and satellite systems are available (2019); 84 radio broadcast stations - 1 state-owned broadcaster with multiple stations and a large mixture of public and private broadcasters; one international broadcaster is available (2019) as well as one Chinese joint venture television station with the Ministry of Interior; several television and radio operators broadcast online only (often via Facebook) (2019)

Internet users

total: 10.2 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 60% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 58

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 233,732 (2020 est.) Slowly increase as focus is on mobile internet

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 114


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 25

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,411,059 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 680,000 (2018) mt-km


16 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 142

Airports - with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


1 (2021)


total: 642 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 642 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

note: under restoration

comparison ranking: total 106


total: 47,263 km (2013)

paved: 12,239 km (2013)

unpaved: 35,024 km (2013)

comparison ranking: total 83


3,700 km (2012) (mainly on Mekong River)

comparison ranking: 30

Merchant marine

total: 242 (2022)

by type: container ship 2, general cargo 159, oil tanker 18, other 63

comparison ranking: total 62

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Sihanoukville (Kampong Saom)

river port(s): Phnom Penh (Mekong)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF): Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer Navy, Royal Cambodian Air Force, Royal Gendarmerie; the National Committee for Maritime Security (2023)

note 1: the National Committe for Maritime Security performs coast guard functions and has representation from military and civilian agencies

note 2: the Cambodian National Police are under the Ministry of Interior

Military expenditures

2.1% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.3% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.3% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2019 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 54

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 100,000 total active troops including less than 5,000 Navy and Air Force personnel; approximately 10,000 Gendarmerie (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the RCAF is armed largely with older Chinese and Russian-origin equipment; in recent years it has received limited amounts of more modern equipment from a variety of suppliers, particularly China (2023)

note: in December 2021, the US Government halted arms-related trade with Cambodia, citing deepening Chinese military influence, corruption, and human rights abuses by the government and armed forces; the policy of denial applied to licenses or other approvals for exports and imports of defense articles and defense services destined for or originating in Cambodia, with exceptions (on a case-by-case basis) related to conventional weapons destruction and humanitarian demining activities

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service (conscription only selectively enforced since 1993; service is for 18 months); women may volunteer (2023)

note: as of 2018, women made up an estimated 6% of the active-duty military

Military deployments

225 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 180 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 260 Mali (MINUSMA) (2023)

Military - note

outside of periodic border skirmishes with Thailand, the RCAF’s primary responsibilities are border, coastal, and internal security; since 2016, the RCAF has conducted a small annual training exercise known as “Golden Dragon” with the military of China, except for 2021-2022 when it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic; the Army has a few infantry divisions and an estimated 10-15 brigades, including about 5 rapid reaction “intervention” brigades, a border security brigade, and a prime minister’s bodyguard brigade, as well as an airborne/special operations brigade under a special forces command created in 2020; the Navy maintains a small force of patrol boats and a naval infantry brigade for coastal defense; the Air Force has a small number of combat and transport helicopters; the Royal Gendarmerie is reportedly organized into battalions and several mobile response units

the RCAF was re-established in 1993 under the first coalition government from the merger of the Cambodian Government’s military forces (Cambodian People’s Armed Forces) and the two non-communist resistance forces (Sihanoukist National Army, aka National Army for Khmer Independence, and the Khmer People's National Liberation Armed Forces); thousands of communist Khmer Rouge fighters began surrendering by 1994 under a government amnesty program and the last of the Khmer Rouge forces (National Army of Democratic Kampuchea) were demobilized or absorbed into the RCAF in 1999

Cambodia continues to be one of the most densely landmine-contaminated countries in the world; by the early 1990s, various aid organizations estimated there were 8 to 10 million landmines scattered throughout the country, with a particularly heavy concentration on a 1,000-km strip along the northwest Thai-Cambodia border known as the "K5 belt"; the mines were laid during Cambodia’s decades-long war by the Cambodian army, the Vietnamese, the Khmer Rouge, the non-communist fighters, and US forces; part of Cambodia's defense policy is demining the territory with the intent of having the entire country cleared of unexploded ordnances by 2035; over 1 million landmines and over 3 million explosives were discovered and removed from 1992 to 2018; in 2018, the Cambodian government and Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), a government agency, launched the National Mine Action Strategy for 2018-2025 (2023)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Cambodia-Laos: Cambodia is concerned that Laos' extensive upstream dam construction will affect Cambodian waters downstream

Cambodia-Thailand: Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to maintain peace along the border regardless of the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over territorial dispute near Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple; the ICJ decision of 11 November 2013 determined that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear; the border disputes do not involve large amounts of territory, and most of the issues were settled by the Nov. 11, 2013 ICJ ruling

Cambodia-Vietnam: issues include casinos built in Cambodia near the border (gambling and prostitution); narcotics (criminals, crime, and abuse); trafficking of women and children, petrol smuggling into Cambodia from Vietnam, illegal logging, and illegal migration

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 75,000 (2022)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Cambodia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore, Cambodia was downgraded to Tier 3; authorities took some steps to address trafficking, including continuing to arrest, prosecute and convict some traffickers, and identifying and assisting some victims; however, corruption continued to impede law enforcement efforts, legal actions, and provision of services to victims; authorities did not investigate or take legal action against any officials involved in the large majority of credible reports of complicity; officials failed to proactively identify victims among the highly vulnerable groups of men, women, and children subjected to human trafficking throughout the country; authorities did not provide adequate protection for victims domestically or overseas and relied heavily on foreign donors and NGOs to provide care (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit Cambodian men, women, and children in forced labor and sex trafficking in Cambodia and abroad, and foreign nationals are trafficked in Cambodia; Cambodian adults and children migrate to other countries in the region or increasingly to the Middle East where traffickers force them to work in agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, and domestic servitude; significant numbers of Cambodian men and boys are subject to forced labor on Thai ships in international waters and may experience physical abuse, nonpayment or underpayment of wages, and confinement at sea; brick kiln owners exploit thousands of Cambodians, including children, through debt-based coercion; children from poor families are vulnerable to forced labor, often with the complicity of their parents, in domestic servitude, forced begging, or street vending in Thailand and Vietnam; traffickers recruit Cambodian women and girls from rural areas under false pretenses, or sometimes through complicit parents, to travel to the PRC to marry PRC-national men where they are subject to sex trafficking or forced labor; Cambodian and ethnic Vietnamese women and girls from rural areas move to cities and tourist areas where they are sex trafficked (2022)

Illicit drugs

a significant transshipment country for Burma-sourced methamphetamine and heroin and a location for large-scale ketamine production; transnational criminal organizations (TCO’s) use Cambodia as both a transit and destination for illicit drugs; precursor chemicals from mainly China used at domestic clandestine laboratories operated by TCOs for the manufacturing of methamphetamine, ketamine, and other synthetic drugs