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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MLMUPC to pay closer attention to Cambodia’s ‘middle class’

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Borey constructions as seen in this picture are associated with Cambodia’s not yet clearly defined middle-class. Hong Menea

MLMUPC to pay closer attention to Cambodia’s ‘middle class’

The Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) is planning to study Cambodia’s middle class to assist with the drafting of housing policies which reflect their income levels.

Dr Beng Hong Socheat Khemro, general director of the MLMUPC’s housing department, told Post Property the plans to study the middle class in more detail would include those living in both Phnom Penh and the provinces.

The study is aimed at determining the monthly and annual incomes of the middle class to assist in providing some clarity on what constitutes the middle class.

“The study will be conducted in provinces too so that we can collect grassroots data to figure out what public housing policies would be best for their income level,” Khemro said.

He added, “The level of income for people in Phnom Penh and those in the provinces are different; hence, the data is very important because we’ll use it to make the general consideration.”

Khemro could not disclose to Post Property when the study will begin – or finish.

To date, the government hasn’t undertaken any official studies on Cambodia’s middle class to gauge what percentage of the population is classified as middle class and to understand the income range of the group.

Nonetheless, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said during the construction opening for Mercedes Benz last year that, “People who earn more than $10 a day are considered to be the middle-class.”

In Channy, president of Acleda Bank, said Cambodia was on its way to becoming a middle-income dominant country.

“With the average income of $1,300 a person, Cambodia has become a lower-middle-income country, but it hopes to become a middle-income country in 2030,” he said.

He added, “Based on the economic growth in Cambodia, which is around seven percent a year, we’re hoping to achieve this goal.”

According to the definition set forth by The World Bank, a person with a gross income of $1,026 to $4,035 is considered to be within the lower-middle-income bracket while those with an annual salary of $4,036 to $12,475 are middle-income.

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