The Kingdom is experiencing rapid population growth

Phnom Penh, seen here in January, has grown rapidly in recent years. MPS

Cambodia’s population growth rate over the past two decades has remained about 40-50 percent faster than the global average, as the UN projects eight billion people will live on Earth by November this year, according to the Prime Minister. Minister Hun Sen.

Hun Sen made the remark in a letter celebrating the 33rd World Population Day, held under the theme “A world of eight billion people towards a resilient future to seize a chance to secure rights for all.”

“The UN has predicted that the number of the world’s population will reach eight billion by November this year, which means the world has made incredible progress in reducing poverty and improving health care. Maternal and child mortality rates are falling and people are living longer and healthier lives,” he said.

He added that according to the UN, the Earth’s population had grown at a rate of 1% per year, while Cambodia grew at 1.4% per year from 2008 to 2019.

Citing the last general census, the Prime Minister said Cambodia’s population was 15.6 million in 2019 – an annual growth rate of 1.4% from the 2008 census result of 13.4 million. Previously, growth had been even higher, reaching 1.5% since 1998.

“The increase in the number of Cambodians over the past two decades has been attributed to falling death rates and increasing life expectancy. The census shows a remarkable decrease in the maternal mortality rate, from 410 people per 100,000 births in 2008 to 170 in 2014 and just 141 in 2019,” he said.

The life expectancy of the Cambodian people has also increased steadily. In 1998, the figures were 54 for men and 58 for women. In 2008, the figures were 61 and 64 years old. The 2019 figures show vast improvements in the nation – 74.3 for men and 76.8 for women.

Hun Sen said these successes resulted from the joint efforts of the government and its partner organizations to improve and develop the public health sector. Also, Cambodia had a unique population where 36% of the population was of childbearing age, 20 to 36 years old.

“As we consider a forum of 8 billion people, we must remind the world that humanity is not separated as the number of members increases or decreases. Each individual must share their ingenuity, their kindness, their leadership, their work , his creativity and his heart with all the other members of the global family,” he said.

He said the problems associated with such a high population should be addressed through the timely introduction of carefully crafted policies and measures to mitigate the negative impacts, adding that Cambodia is still on track to become a country with upper middle income by 2030 and a high income country by 2050.