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It is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 square miles) in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by approximately 95 percent of the population.The country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes.According to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty, Cambodia has been described by Human Rights Watch's Southeast Asian Director, David Roberts, as a "vaguely communist free-market state with a relatively authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy".While per capita income remains low compared to most neighbouring countries, Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with growth averaging 6 percent over the last decade.Following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Cambodia was governed briefly by a United Nations mission (1992–93).The UN withdrew after holding elections in which around 90 percent of the registered voters cast ballots.

The Indianised kingdom built monumental temples including Angkor Wat, now a World Heritage Site, and facilitated the spread of first Hinduism then Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia.Archaeological records for the period between Holocene and Iron Age remain equally limited.A pivotal event in Cambodian prehistory was the slow penetration of the first rice farmers from the north, which began in the late 3rd millennium BC.The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia.The kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch, currently Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state.

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