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An estimated 85-90 % of the population lives in rural areas. Ethnically the population consists of approximately 90 % Khmer, 5 % Chinese and Vietnamese and small numbers of hill tribes ( Chams and Burmese). Khmer is the country's official language. It is spoken by more than 95 % of the population. French, as a second language is also spoken.Ian is a language spoken mostly by older people and English is more commonly spoken by the younger generation.

The Cambodian population presents several important features. First, due to the baby boom following 1979, a young population emerged with at least half that is (50% according to some sources, more according to others) under 18 years of age now. Secondly, the proportion of women in the adult population is higher - 56% of those who are 18 years old or more being females. Also as a result of the war, there is a rather high proportion of matriarchal households; at least 25% according to UNICEF.

The population of Cambodia is 13,881,427 (2006) estimates. Population growth per year is estimated at 2.3 %, one of the highest rates in Asia. The rate of infant mortality is also high. The population density is 69 persons per sq km 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 irrigated 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.


 
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