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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Papua New Guinea
Flag of Papua New Guinea
Map of Papua New Guinea
Introduction Papua New Guinea
The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997, after claiming some 20,000 lives.
Geography Papua New Guinea
Southeastern Asia, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia
Geographic coordinates:
6 00 S, 147 00 E
Map references:
total: 462,840 sq km
land: 452,860 sq km
water: 9,980 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
total: 820 km
border countries: Indonesia 820 km
5,152 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation
mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m
Natural resources:
gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries
Land use:
arable land: 0.13%
permanent crops: 1.35%
other: 98.52% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
Environment - current issues:
rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast
People Papua New Guinea
5,172,033 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.6% (male 1,013,936; female 980,841)
15-64 years: 57.7% (male 1,544,650; female 1,440,628)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 90,661; female 101,317) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.39% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
31.61 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
7.75 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
56.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.83 years
female: 66.03 years (2002 est.)
male: 61.73 years
Total fertility rate:
4.21 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.22% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,400 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
450 (1999 est.)
noun: Papua New Guinean(s)
adjective: Papua New Guinean
Ethnic groups:
Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
Roman Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society 8%, Anglican 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1%, other Protestant 10%, indigenous beliefs 34%
English spoken by 1%-2%, pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region
note: 715 indigenous languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 64.5%
male: 72%
female: 57% (2000)
Government Papua New Guinea
Country name:
conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea
conventional short form: Papua New Guinea
abbreviation: PNG
former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea
Government type:
constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy
Port Moresby
Administrative divisions:
20 provinces; Bougainville, Central, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, East Sepik, Enga, Gulf, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, Morobe, National Capital, New Ireland, Northern, Sandaun, Southern Highlands, Western, Western Highlands, West New Britain
16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 September (1975)
16 September 1975
Legal system:
based on English common law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Silas ATOPARE (since 13 November 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Sir Michael SOMARE (since NA August 2002); Deputy Prime Minister Allan MARAT (since NA August 2002)
cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the National Executive Council; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually is appointed prime minister by the governor general
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Parliament - sometimes referred to as the House of Assembly (109 seats, 89 elected from open electorates and 20 from provincial electorates; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14-28 June 1997 (next to be held 15 June 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - PPP 15%, Pangu Pati 14%, NA 14%, PDM 8%, PNC 6%, PAP 5%, UP 3%, NP 1%, PUP 1%, independents 33%; seats by party - PPP 16, Pangu Pati 15, NA 15, PDM 9, PNC 7, PAP 5, UP 3, NP 1, PUP 1, independents 37; note - association with political parties is very fluid
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the proposal of the National Executive Council after consultation with the minister responsible for justice; other judges are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission)
Political parties and leaders:
Melanesian Alliance Party or MAP [leader NA]; National Alliance or NA [George MANDA, party president]; National Front Party [leader NA]; National Party or NP [Michael MEL]; Papua New Guinea Revival Party [John PUNDARI]; Papua New Guinea United Party or Pangu Pati [Chris HAIVETA]; People's Action Party or PAP [Ted DIRO]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Sir Mekere MORAUTA]; People's Labor Party or PLP [Peter YAMA]; People's National Congress or PNC [Bill SKATE]; People's Progress Party or PPP [Michael NALI]; People's Unity Party or PUP [Alfred KAIABE]; United Party or UP [Rimbiuk PATO]
note: more than 40 political parties have registered to participate in the June 2002 elections
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
ACP, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (associate member), C, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nagora Y. BOGAN
chancery: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036
FAX: [1] (202) 745-3679
telephone: [1] (202) 745-3680
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Susan S. JACOBS
embassy: Douglas Street (adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea), Port Moresby
mailing address: P. O. Box 1492, Port Moresby, HCD121
telephone: [675] 321-1455
FAX: [675] 321-1593
Flag description:
divided diagonally from upper hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is red with a soaring yellow bird of paradise centered; the lower triangle is black with five, white, five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross constellation centered
Economy Papua New Guinea
Economy - overview:
Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. The economy has declined over the past two years and will probably continue to falter in 2002. Prime Minister Mekere MORAUTA has tried to restore integrity to state institutions, stabilize the kina, restore stability to the national budget, privatize public enterprises where appropriate, and ensure ongoing peace on Bougainville. The government has had considerable success in attracting international support, specifically gaining the support of the IMF and the World Bank in securing development assistance loans. Significant challenges remain for MORAUTA, however, including gaining further investor confidence, specifically for the proposed Papua New Guinea-Australia oil pipeline, continuing efforts to privatize government assets, and maintaining the support of members of Parliament.
purchasing power parity - $12.2 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-2.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,400 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 37%
services: 33% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 41% (1996) (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
51 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
2.3 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 85%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $894 million
expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $344 million (2000 est.)
copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining of gold, silver, and copper; crude oil production; construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
1.65 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 55%
hydro: 45%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
1.535 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables; poultry, pork
$1.8 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Exports - partners:
Australia 30%, Japan 11%, China 6%, Germany 4%, South Korea 4%, UK 3%, Philippines 1%, US 1% (2000)
$1.024 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Australia 50%, Singapore 20%, Japan 4%, NZ 4%, Indonesia 3%, Malaysia 3%, US 2% (2000)
Debt - external:
$2.6 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$400 million (1999 est.)
kina (PGK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
kina per US dollar - 3.706 (January 2002), 3.374 (2001), 2.765 (2000), 2.539 (1999), 2.058 (1998), 1.434 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Papua New Guinea
Telephones - main lines in use:
61,152 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
3,053 (1996)
Telephone system:
general assessment: services are adequate and being improved; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
domestic: mostly radiotelephone
international: submarine cables to Australia and Guam; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international radio communication service
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 19, shortwave 28 (1998)
410,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (all in the Port Moresby area)
note: additional stations at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Lae, and Rabaul are planned (2002)
59,841 (1999)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
135,000 (2001)
Transportation Papua New Guinea
0 km
total: 19,600 km
paved: 686 km
unpaved: 18,914 km (1996)
10,940 km
Ports and harbors:
Kieta, Lae, Madang, Port Moresby, Rabaul
Merchant marine:
total: 22 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 40,911 GRT/58,723 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Singapore 2, United Kingdom 7 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 10, chemical tanker 1, combination ore/oil 3, container 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 3
490 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 470
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 56
under 914 m: 403 (2002)
2 (2002)
Military Papua New Guinea
Military branches:
Papua New Guinea Defense Force (includes Ground Force, Maritime Operations Element, and Air Operations Element)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,338,003 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 740,085 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$42 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1% (FY98)
Transnational Issues Papua New Guinea
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003