Life Of People

Population: 14 million (July 2007 est.)
0-14 years: 34% (male 2.4 million; female 2.4 million)

Population distribution: rural 80%; urban 20%

Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other (including Cham-Malay) 4%
With a high percentage of one ethnic group (Khmer) in the population, Cambodia has a homogeneity unique in Southeast Asia and this has encouraged a strong sense of national identity.

Religions: Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
Many boys and young men become Buddhist monks for a period of time to earn merit – living a life of study and meditation to seek better understanding of Buddha’s teachings.
Many Cambodians also believe in (1) an invisible supernatural world of ghosts, demons and spirits and they seek shamans to help mediate between the spirit world and the real world; (2) the power of amulets, tattoos and charms to protect them from evil spirits and misfortune.

Languages: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English

Literacy rate: 73.6% (of those age 15 and above) can read and write (2004 census)

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