Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 353-381

First online:

Living arrangements and socio-demographic conditions of older adults in Cambodia

  • Zachary ZimmerAffiliated withPolicy Research Division, Population Council
  • , Sovan Kiry KimAffiliated withSociology Department, Royal University of Phnom Penh

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Since the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, the socialconditions within the country have been understudied. Only recently hasdependable socio-demographic data become available. We use some thesedata to examine living arrangements and other socio-demographicconditions among Cambodia's older population. We compare results to thoserecently found in Thailand and Vietnam, two neighboring countries, inorder to place Cambodia within a regional context. On balance, livingarrangements in Cambodia are similar to those in neighboring countries.Older adults are likely to be living with a child and in a variety of diversearrangements involving different family members. We attempt to get atgender preference for coresident children indirectly by adjusting livingarrangement patterns for Cambodia's unique sex and marital statusstructure. We find a predominance of elders living with never marriedchildren of either sex and a slight daughter preference. Older adults inCambodia may face particular challenges due to the influences of the pastdecades of instability and violence. We conclude our paper with adiscussion of how future research might assist in developing a nationalpolicy for older adults.