Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Population tops ten million

Population tops ten million

Population tops ten million

C AMBODIA'S population has reached 10.4 million people, but it has the highest

mortality figures for the region, a UN report said on June 10.

"The

infant mortality rate is 120 per 1,000 live births, meaning that out of 1,000

babies born today (July 11, 1995), 120 will die before reaching the 11th July

11, 1996," said a statement from the United Nations Fund for Population

Activities.

Almost one out of five infants would die before reaching five

yeas of age, said the UNFPA statement released on Monday to mark World

Population Day (July 11).

The demographic study showed that Cambodia's

adult female population comprised 54 percent of the total population, a legacy

attributed to the 1970s "Killing Fields" reign of Pol Pot's fanatical Khmer

Rouge.

"In the adult population there is still a large majority of women

(54 percent), due to an excess loss of men during the Democratic Kampuchea

period.

"About one out of five households is headed by a woman who has to

take care of children, income, security etc.," it said.

UNFPA warned that

Cambodian resources such as food, health care, education and employment were

inadequate to meet the country's future needs.

"The main problem of

Cambodia is the inadequacy between the growth of population and the growth of

resources.

"There is already a lot of poverty in the country, but the

poverty rate is not decreasing - it is increasing because the population is

growing too fast for the resources," demographer, Vincent Fauveau, country

director for UNFPA said.

The study carried out over the past 12 months

found that Cambodia is a country of migration.

It noted that the

UN-assisted repatriation of 360,000 Cambodian refugees living in border camps in

Thailand boosted the country's population by four percent when they were

returned home between 1992 and 1993.

About 50 percent of the population

is younger than 17 years while only seven percent of Cambodian women use modern

forms of contraception.

Every year the Cambodian population increases by

275,000 and will reach 12 million by the year 2,000.

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