Journal Article

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

Since the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, the social conditions within the country have been understudied. Only recently has dependable socio-demographic data become available. We use some these data to examine living arrangements and other socio-demographic conditions among Cambodia’s older population. We compare results to those recently found in Thailand and Vietnam, two neighboring countries, in order to place Cambodia within a regional context. On balance, living arrangements in Cambodia are similar to those in neighboring countries. Older adults are likely to be living with a child and in a variety of diverse arrangements involving different family members. We attempt to get at gender preference for coresident children indirectly by adjusting living arrangement patterns for Cambodia’s unique sex and marital status structure. We find a predominance of elders living with never married children of either sex and a slight daughter preference. Older adults in Cambodia may face particular challenges due to the influences of the past decades of instability and violence. We conclude our paper with a discussion of how future research might assist in developing a national policy for older adults.