Cambodia Ethnic Groups

Learnex, English Forever ¡Aprende Inglés para Siempre!

Cambodia is an Asian country located in the Southeast Asian Peninsula; it has a population of more than 15 million people, with such a wide ethnic diversity. About 90% of the population belongs to the Khmer, and the rest belong to different minority groups, such as the Chams, Chinese, Vietnamese, and 30 other tribes.

The Khmers, while being one ethnicity, are divided in three main subgroups based on their origin: The Cambodian Khmer, the Khmer Surin and the Khmer Krom. The Khmer Surin and the Khmer Krom together are called the Khmer Loeu.

The Chams are descendants of Austronesian people, and they represent a population of about a quarter of a million and they usually live in separate villages, although they live alongside Khmers in many areas.

Vietnamese used to be the biggest ethnic group in Cambodia, but after a Civil War they were decimated to a mere 61 000 people about 0.42% of Cambodia’s total population.  On the other hand, Chinese are approximately 1% of the population, and most of them are descendants of 19th-20th century settlers who came for trade and commerce opportunities. The other ethnic minorities represent about 3% of the population.

cambodia map


  • Wide: Of great range or scope; embracing a great number or variety of subjects, cases, etc.
  • Alongside: Beside; by the side of.
  • Decimate: To destroy a great number or proportion of.
  • Settler: a person who takes up residence in a new country or area.


Learning more about different cultures is a great way to practice your English, try to deepen your knowledge about faraway cultures and tribes and you won’t only learn more, you will open your mind to new horizons!


  • Do you know about any ethnic groups or minorities in your country?

Session 3

Welcome to this activity created by Junior Advisor Mr. Braulio D. López Vázquez from Polanco Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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  1. México tiene más de 50 grupos étnicos de origen indígena, así como los grupos de afrodescendientes de esclavos que fueron traídos a nuestro país en la época de la conquista y la colonia, todos ellos sufren discriminación y segregación

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