Cambodian Culture

Cambodians in Australia

The Cambodia-born population in Australia remained relatively small up until the Khmer Rouge period between 1975 to 1979. Many fled Cambodia and spent years in refugee camps located in various neighbouring countries such as Thailand, waiting for the possibility of relocating. Australia was one of the main receiving countries of Cambodian refugees in the post-Khmer Rouge regime period.

Due to the events of the Khmer Rouge and subsequent events, most Cambodians who migrated to Australia between 1975 and 1986 have suffered from physical and psychological trauma, including forced separation from their families. Moreover, some community leaders in Australia believe that the Cambodian population figures in Australia are understated due to some Cambodians being born in refugee camps in Vietnam and Thailand, while others were born in their first settlement country.

The following wave of migration was generally through sponsored relatives of the earlier waves, with many Cambodian-born people arriving in Australia under the family migration stream. The majority of the Cambodia-born population in Australia identify as Buddhist (79.5%). Throughout Australia, there are various Cambodian social and cultural associations that provide the Cambodian community strong support networks.

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  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Khmer (Official) (96.3%)
    Other (3.7%)
    [2008 est.]
  • Religions
    Buddhism (Official) (96.9%)
    Islam (1.9%)
    Christianity (0.4%)
    Other (0.8%)
    [2008 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Khmer (97.6%)
    Cham (1.2%)
    Chinese (0.1%)
    Vietnamese (0.1)
    Other (0.9%)
    [2013 est.]
  • Australians with Cambodian Ancestry
    45,728 [2016 census]
Cambodians in Australia
  • Population
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Cambodia.
  • Average Age
  • Gender
    Male (45.4%)
    Female (54.6%)
  • Religion
    Buddhism (79.5%)
    Catholic Christianity (2.6%)
    Other (7.0%)
    No Religion (7.9%)
    Not Stated (3.1%)
  • Ancestry
    Cambodian (58.5%)
    Chinese (33.2%)
    Vietnamese (1.8%)
    Other (3.0%)
    Not Stated (3.5%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Khmer (68.2%)
    Cantonese (8.4%)
    Min Nan (6.0%)
    English (5.8%)
    Other (11.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 54.9% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (40.1%)
    New South Wales (39.3%)
    South Australia (9.8%)
    Queensland (5.4%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (72.1%)
    2001-2006 (11.5%)
    2007-2011 (11.8%)
Country Flag Country Cambodia