Cambodia Poverty Profile for 1999
Cambodia is a very poor country with GDP per capita at only $268 in 1999 and with other non-income
indicators of poverty comparing poorly with those in other countries in the region. The Poverty Profile of Cambodia,
based on 1999 data, shows that an estimated 35.9 percent of the population is poor and the poverty rate is higher in
rural areas (40 percent), which is four times higher than poverty in Phnom Penh (10 percent). Rural households,
especially those for whom agriculture is the primary source of income, account for almost 90 percent of the poor.
The poor are more likely to live in households that are larger. Poverty incidence increases from 24 percent
for a household of 4 people to 45 percent for one with 10. Poorer households also tend to have a larger share of
children. Poverty incidence increases from 27 percent for a household with one child to 49 percent for a household
with more than 3 children.
Poverty rates rise with age, reaching a maximum for the 36-40 year old group of household heads, and then
declining. The relatively lower poverty rate for people living in households whose head is aged 50-60 years and
above may reflect the wealth accumulation that this elderly head has achieved or it could be there is a younger
generation within the household whose economic success is sufficient to allow them to support their elders within the same household.
One of the legacies of war and armed conflict in Cambodia is the relatively large proportion of the population
is living in female-headed households (17 percent). However, there is no difference in poverty rates between male
and female-headed household, although women experience poverty more acutely than men because of their multiple
burdens of child rearing and care and household work, work to earn income, and also involvement in community
activities. Moreover, female-headed households are at a disadvantage over those living in male-headed households...