encouraging progress with regard to stabilization of the
economy and growth, the Government continues to face
formidable challenges. According to the 2000 Human
Development Report, Cambodia ranks 137 out of 174
countries on the Human Development Index. Annual average
per capita income is estimated at no more than $290,
with close to 40 per cent of the entire population
living below the poverty line. Rural households, as in
other parts of Asia, comprise 90 per cent of the country’s
total population is estimated at 11.2 million in 2000.
Over 42 per cent of the entire population is under the
age of 15; 29 per cent are in the age group 12-22.
indicators continue to be among the lowest in the
region. The maternal mortality rate averages 473 deaths
per 100,000 live births. Similarly, the under five
mortality rate is 125 deaths per 1,000 live births; one
in every eight children born in the country dies before
his or her fifth birthday. The infant mortality rate is
95 per 1,000 live births. At the national level, only
one-third of all births take place in a health facility
with trained medical personnel present.
surprisingly, with these poor health indicators, women
are having on average 5.3 children each; the second
highest rate in Southeast Asia after Laos. Some progress
has been made, however. The contraceptive prevalence
rate is increasing. In fact it has nearly doubled: from
13 per cent in 1995 to 24 per cent in 2000.