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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
Oceania, 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: 0.49%
permanent crops: 1.4%
other: 98.11% (2005)
Irrigated land:
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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast
People Papua New Guinea
5,670,544 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 37.8% (male 1,090,879/female 1,054,743)
15-64 years: 58.3% (male 1,703,204/female 1,601,224)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 103,054/female 117,440) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 21.2 years
male: 21.4 years
female: 21.1 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.21% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
29.36 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
7.25 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 49.96 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.08 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 45.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.28 years
male: 63.08 years
female: 67.58 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.88 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.6% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
16,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
600 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations (2005)
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%
Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2%, Motu spoken in Papua region
note: 820 indigenous languages spoken (over one-tenth of the world's total)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 64.6%
male: 71.1%
female: 57.7% (2002)
Government Papua New Guinea
Country name:
conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea
conventional short form: Papua New Guinea
local short form: Papuaniugini
former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea
abbreviation: PNG
Government type:
constitutional parliamentary democracy
name: Port Moresby
geographic coordinates: 9 30 S, 147 10 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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 Paulius MATANE (since 29 June 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Sir Michael SOMARE (since 2 August 2002); deputy prime minister Don Polye (since 5 July 2006)
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 15-29 June 2002 and April and May 2003; completed in May 2003 (voting in the Southern Highlands was not completed during the June 2002 election period); next to be held not later than June 2007
election results: percent of vote by party - National Alliance 18%, URP 13%, PDM 12%, PPP 8%, Pangu 6%, PAP 5%, PLP 4%, others 34%; seats by party - National Alliance 19, URP 14, PDM 13, PPP 8, PANGU 6, PAP 5, PLP 4, others 40; as of January 2006 - National Alliance 25, URP 10, PNGP 9, PPP 9, PANGU 6, PAP 12, PLP 4, others 34
note: association with political parties is fluid (2005)
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:
Christian Democratic Party [Dr. Banare BUN]; Melanesian Alliance Party or MAP [Sir Moi AVEL]; National Alliance Party or NA [Michael SOMARE]; National Party [Melcher PEP]; Papua and Niugini Union Party or PANGU [Rabbie NAMALIU]; Papua New Guinea First Party [Cecilking DORUBA]; Papua New Guinea Labor Party [Bob DANAYA]; Papua New Guinea Party or PNGP (was People's Democratic Movement or PDM) [Sir Mekere MORAUTA]; People's Action Party or PAP [Moses MALADINA]; People's Labor Party or PLP [Ekis ROPENU]; People's National Congress or PNC [Peter O'NEILL]; People's Progress Party or PPP [Byron CHAN]; Pipol First Party [Luther WENGE]; United Party [Bire KIMASOPA]; United Resources Party or URP [Tim NEVILLE] (2005)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Evan Jeremy PAKI
chancery: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 745-3680
FAX: [1] (202) 745-3679
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie V. ROWE
embassy: Douglas Street, Port Moresby
mailing address: 4240 Port Moresby PI, US Department of State, Washington DC 20521-4240
telephone: [675] 321-1455
FAX: [675] 321-3423
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 nearly two-thirds of export earnings. The economy has improved over the past three years because of high commodity prices following a prolonged period of instability. The government of Prime Minister SOMARE has expended much of its energy remaining in power and should be the first government in decades to serve a full five-year term. The government has also brought stability to the national budget thus far, largely through expenditure control. Numerous challenges still face the government including regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatizing moribund state institutions, and balancing relations with Australia, the former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including a worsening HIV/Aids epidemic and chronic law and order and land tenure issues. Australia annually supplies $240 million in aid, which accounts for nearly 20% of the national budget.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$15.13 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.148 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.2% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$2,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 35.7%
industry: 37.1%
services: 27.2% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
3.477 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 85%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
2% up to 80% in urban areas (2004)
Population below poverty line:
37% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.9 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.5% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
19.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $2.155 billion
expenditures: $2.166 billion; including capital expenditures of $344 million (2006 est.)
Public debt:
53.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; shell fish, poultry, pork
copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining of gold, silver, and copper; crude oil production, petroleum refining; construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
3.358 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 54.1%
hydro: 45.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
3.123 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
50,000 bbl/day (January 2006 est.)
Oil - consumption:
18,000 bbl/day (January 2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
170 million bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
140 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
140 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
345.5 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$661 million (2006 est.)
$4.096 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Exports - partners:
Australia 28.8%, Japan 8.6%, China 5.4% (2005)
$1.686 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Australia 54.7%, Singapore 13.4%, Japan 4.3%, Malaysia 4.2% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.099 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$1.801 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Currency (code):
kina (PGK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
kina per US dollar - 3.08 (2006), 3.08 (2005), 3.2225 (2004), 3.5635 (2003), 3.8952 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Papua New Guinea
Telephones - main lines in use:
62,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
26,000 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: services are adequate; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
domestic: mostly radiotelephone
international: country code - 675; 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 (2004)
59,841 (1999)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
1,573 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
170,000 (2005)
Transportation Papua New Guinea
582 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 561
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 62
under 914 m: 488 (2006)
2 (2006)
oil 264 km (2006)
total: 19,600 km
paved: 686 km
unpaved: 18,914 km (1999)
10,940 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
total: 24 ships (1000 GRT or over) 55,532 GRT/72,240 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 18, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 6 (UK 6) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Kimbe, Lae, Rabaul
Military Papua New Guinea
Military branches:
Papua New Guinea Defense Force (includes Maritime Operations Element, Air Operations Element)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,264,728
females age 18-49: 1,167,188 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 902,432
females age 18-49: 894,759 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$16.9 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.4% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Papua New Guinea
Disputes - international:
relies on assistance from Australia to keep out illegal cross-border activities from primarily Indonesia, including goods smuggling, illegal narcotics trafficking, and squatters and secessionists

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007