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Cambodia (Kampuchea), Population

The population of Cambodia is 12,775,324 (2002 estimate). Population growth per year is estimated at 2.2 percent, one of the highest rates in Asia. The rate of infant mortality is also high. The population density is 71 persons per sq km (183 per sq mi), with the densest concentrations on the heavily cultivated central plain. The mountainous regions of the country, where malaria is widespread, are thinly populated, as are the poorly watered northern provinces. During the late 1970s, under the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge, all of Cambodia’s towns were depopulated, and residents were forcibly relocated to rural areas. A process of reurbanization began in the 1980s.

Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, is situated at the junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sab rivers. Other major cities are Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampot, and Cambodia’s only deep-water port, Kampong Saom, located on the Gulf of Thailand.

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