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Cambodia gets more urban

Cambodia gets more urban

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2-story-1.jpg

The Kingdom's second post-UNTAC census shows that overall, population

growth is slowing but the percentage of the people living in cities is

rising

VANDY RATTANA

Census data being handed out to participants at a ceremony Wednesday.

Cambodia's population is fast approaching 14 million people, more than half of whom are women, according to preliminary results from the first general census to be conducted in a decade, which were released Wednesday.

The census, which was supported by the United Nations Population Fund and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, also found that population growth was slowing.

While Cambodia remains a largely rural country, more people were living in cities, the census found.

"According to the preliminary results, the population of Cambodia stood at 13,388,910 at midnight on March 3, 2008,  consisting of 6,495,512 males and 6,893,398 females," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, who also chairs the National Census Committee.

"The provisional figures at the national level indicate that the total fertility rate and growth rate of the population has slowed down as predicted [due to rising prosperity and improved female literacy acting to reduce birth rates,]" he added at a ceremony to mark the release of the census.

The 2004 Cambodia Inter-censal Population Survey, which unlike the 2008 census did not take into account the institutionalised and the homeless, estimated the Kingdom's population to be 12,824,000, which broke down along gender lines to 6,197,000 males and 6,627,000 females.

THE RURAL POPULATION IS MORE THAN FIVE TIMES BIGGER THAN THE URBAN POPULATION.

The projected annual growth rate in 2010 is expected to be 1.54 percent, still higher than that of East Asia, which stands at 1.3 percent.

While the most populated Cambodian province is Kampong Cham with 1,680,694 people, Pailin is the least populated with only 35,753 people.

The average household contained 4.7 people, according to census figures.

"The percentage of the population in urban areas in Cambodia stands at 19.4 percent. In other words, the rural population is more than five times bigger than the urban population," Sar Kheng said.

"It may be of interest to note that in the 1962 census, the urban population constituted 10.3 percent of the total population, and in the 1998 census it was 15.7 percent," he added.

A census a decade

Chhay Than, senior minister of the Ministry of Planning, said Wednesday that the 2008 census was the second conducted since Cambodia's first democratic elections in 1993.

"After the 1962 census which placed the population of Cambodia at 5.7 million, there was no census for more than three decades due to internal disturbances," Chhay Than said.

"The first census in 36 years was held in 1998."

The 2008 census was held exactly a decade after the last census in accordance with UN recommendations and the stipulation in the Statistics Law.

Work on the 2008 census began as early as June 2006 when mapping staff began measuring precise village locations.

The final 2008 census results is expected to be available mid-2009.

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