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'Between One and Three Million': Towards the Demographic Reconstruction of a Decade of Cambodian History (1970-79)

Patrick Heuveline
Population Studies
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 49-65
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2584763
Page Count: 17
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'Between One and Three Million': Towards the Demographic Reconstruction of a Decade of Cambodian History (1970-79)
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Abstract

Estimates of mortality in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79) range from 20,000 deaths according to former Khmer Rouge sources, to over three million victims according to Vietnamese government sources. This paper uses an unusual data source - the 1992 electoral lists registered by the United Nations - to estimate the population size after the Khmer Rouge regime and the extent of "excess" mortality in the 1970s. These data also provide the first breakdown of population by single year of age, which allows analysis of the age structure of "excess" mortality and inference of the relative importance of violence as a cause of death in that period. The estimates derived here are more comparable with the higher estimates made in the past. In addition, the analysis of likely causes of death that could have generated the age pattern of "excess" mortality clearly shows a larger contribution of direct or violent mortality than has been previously recognized.

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