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Older Persons in Cambodia: A Profile from the 2004 Survey of Elderly

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionKnodel, John E., Souvan Kiry Kim, Zachary S. Zimmer, and Sina Puch. 2005. "Older Persons in Cambodia: A Profile from the 2004 Survey of Elderly." PSC Research Report No. 05-576. May 2005.

This report provides a basic but comprehensive demographic, social, economic and health profile of Cambodia’s older population based on the 2004 Survey of Elderly in Cambodia (SEC), a representative survey of persons age 60 and over conducted in Phnom Penh and the five largest provinces. As such it represents the first comprehensive examination of the situation of Cambodian elders based on a widely representative sample. The traumatic history of social dislocation, civil strife and political violence that the current generation of elders survived is evident in the fact that over two-fifths lost at least one child and close to one fourth of the women lost a spouse during the short but lethal period of Khmer Rouge rule during 1975-79. Given the lack of alternatives, Cambodian elders rely heavily on filial support as indicated by high levels of coresidence and contributions of modest amounts of money and material goods from children. Both the economic situation and health of Cambodian elders is generally quite unfavorable reflecting the pervasive poverty and underdevelopment of country in general. The results point to a need for greater recognition on the part of the government and aid agencies of the needs and potential contribution of this important but hitherto largely ignored segment of the population.

Country of focus: Cambodia.

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