Follow us on Twitter

Socio-Economic Characteristics

You are here

The study was conducted among a sample of 1,000 individuals representative of the adult population of Cambodia. The interviews took place in December 2010, over a 20-day period. In the remainder of the report, results from the 2010 survey are compared with the results of a comparable survey of 1,000 individuals conducted by the same team in 2008.

As shown in Table 1, the sample included an equal proportion of men and women, with the average age of respondents being 43 years old, slightly above the average respondents’ age measured during the 2008 survey. As was the case in 2008, the majority of 2010 respondents were Khmer (98% compared to 95% in 2008). Three out of four of the 2010 respondents (76%) had at least some primary education and 71% reported being literate in at least one language, which is consistent with the 2008 data.

Table 1: Respondents’ Demographic Characteristics

Table 1 - Respondents’ Demographic Characteristics

Over two-thirds of the respondents (72%) reported having lived under the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, while 27% said they were born after the regime had left power, and 1% was living abroad during its rule. In this survey, more than 25% of respondents reported that they were “Old” or “Base” people under the Khmer Rouge regime, terms for those who lived in insurgent zones under Khmer Rouge control and who may have contributed in some fashion to the revolution. This is significantly more than in the 2008 survey, in which 15% of the adult population identified themselves as ‘Old” or ‘Base” people.

Another 23% described themselves as “New People”, the same proportion as in 2008. These Cambodians generally lived outside of the Khmer Rouge zones or were evacuated from city dwellings after the Khmer Rouge came into power. They were brought into the revolution, usually by force, after the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge in April 1975.[1] For the present study, results for those who lived under the Khmer Rouge regime and those who did not are compared and discussed where significant differences exist.

[1] Elizabeth Becker, When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), 226–29.