Cambodia has about 13 million inhabitants. It has recently experienced rapid growth as it looks to rebuild following on from the devastation left from the reign of the Khmer Rouge (1975 to 1979) when between one and three million people were killed.
The ethnic minorities and the Cham Malai were brutally persecuted by the Khmer Rouge because of their Islamic faith (it is said that more than half of the Cham minority were assassinated), like many Chinese and Vietnamese. Also at this time the Vietnamese were heavily harassed. Cambodia currently has a very high population growth. The capital Phnom Penh is the largest city with a population of about 1 million. The main population of the country is the Khmer (90% of the population) making Cambodia a country with a particularly homogeneous population. 3% of the population consists of Chinese and 4% Vietnamese. The Khmer consider themselves descendants of the legendary Kambu Brahmin, to whom the name Cambodia is attributed. The Khmer name for Cambodia is Kampuchea. Between the Khmer and their neighbours, the Vietnamese, and Thai Loatianen, are marked differences in appearance and mentality. The Khmer are on average about 165 cm tall and have a graceful and powerful stature. In addition to their round faces you see broad faces with an angular chin, reminiscent of the features on the reliefs of Angkor. The Khmer have a system of mutual aid and cooperate during the cultivation and harvesting of rice. Outside they are fairly individualistic and lean toward passivity and quietism. Profit and commercial enterprise is not what they are about. Their thinking is strongly influenced by animistic ideas and Buddhism, which addresses more the future than the present life. Successful businessmen in Cambodia are mostly Chinese, or they have descended from the Chinese.