East & Southeast Asia :: Papua New Guinea
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Papua New Guinea
Location 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
6 00 S, 147 00 E
total: 462,840 sq km
country comparison to the world: 54
land: 452,860 sq km
water: 9,980 sq km
slightly larger than California
total: 820 km
border countries: Indonesia 820 km
5,152 km
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
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m
gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries
arable land: 0.49%
permanent crops: 1.4%
other: 98.11% (2005)
NA
801 cu km (1987)
total: 0.1 cu km/yr (56%/43%/1%)
per capita: 17 cu m/yr (1987)
active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought
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
shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast
People ::Papua New Guinea
6,057,263 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
0-14 years: 36.9% (male 1,137,796/female 1,099,365)
15-64 years: 59% (male 1,836,272/female 1,735,298)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 114,789/female 133,743) (2009 est.)
total: 21.7 years
male: 21.8 years
female: 21.6 years (2009 est.)
2.069% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
27.55 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
6.86 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
NA (2009 est.)
urban population: 12% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 45.23 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 57
male: 49.17 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 41.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 66.34 years
country comparison to the world: 160
male: 64.08 years
female: 68.72 years (2009 est.)
3.62 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
1.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
54,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
fewer than 1,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2009)
noun: Papua New Guinean(s)
adjective: Papua New Guinean
Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
Roman Catholic 27%, Evangelical Lutheran 19.5%, United Church 11.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10%, Pentecostal 8.6%, Evangelical Alliance 5.2%, Anglican 3.2%, Baptist 2.5%, other Protestant 8.9%, Bahai 0.3%, indigenous beliefs and other 3.3% (2000 census)
Tok Pisin, English, and Hiri Motu are official languages; some 860 indigenous languages spoken (over one-tenth of the world's total)
note: Tok Pisin, a creole language, is widely used and understood; English is spoken by 1%-2%; Hiri Motu is spoken by less than 2%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.3%
male: 63.4%
female: 50.9% (2000 census)
NA
the indigenous population of Papua New Guinea is one of the most heterogeneous in the world; PNG has several thousand separate communities, most with only a few hundred people; divided by language, customs, and tradition, some of these communities have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbors for millennia; the advent of modern weapons and modern migrants into urban areas has greatly magnified the impact of this lawlessness
Government ::Papua New Guinea
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
constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
name: Port Moresby
geographic coordinates: 9 30 S, 147 10 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
20 provinces; Bougainville (autonomous region), 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)
Independence Day, 16 September (1975)
16 September 1975
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
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 Puka TEMU (since 29 August 2007)
cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is nominated by parliament and appointed by the chief of state; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition usually is appointed prime minister by the governor general acting in accordance with a decision of the parliament
unicameral National Parliament (109 seats, 89 filled from open electorates and 20 from provinces and national capital district; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); constitution allows up to 126 seats
elections: last held from 30 June to 10 July 2007; next to be held in June 2012
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - National Alliance 27, PNGP 8, PAP 6, URP 6, PANGU 5, PDM 5, independents 19, others 33; note - election to 1 seat was nullified
note: 15 other parties won 4 or fewer seats; association with political parties is fluid
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)
National Alliance Party or NA [Michael SOMARE]; Papua and Niugini Union Party or PANGU PATI [Andrew KUMBAKOR]; Papua New Guinea Party or PNGP [Sir Mekere MORAUTA]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Michael OGIO]; People's Action Party or PAP [Gabriel KAPRIS]; United Resources Party or URP [William DUMA] (2007)
Ahora [Andrew MAMOKO] (represents local tribes); Centre for Environment Law and Community Rights or Celcor [Damien ASE]; Community Coalition Against Corruption
ACP, ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (observer), C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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
chief of mission: Ambassador Teddy B. TAYLOR
embassy: Douglas Street, Port Moresby, N.C.D.
mailing address: 4240 Port Moresby PI, US Department of State, Washington DC 20521-4240
telephone: [675] 321-1455
FAX: [675] 321-3423
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
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 75% of the population. Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. The government of Prime Minister SOMARE has expended much of its energy remaining in power. He was the first prime minister ever to serve a full five-year term. The government also brought stability to the national budget, largely through expenditure control; however, it relaxed spending constraints in 2006 and 2007 as elections approached. 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, its former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including a worsening HIV/AIDS epidemic, currently the highest rate in all of East Asia and the Pacific, and chronic law and order and land tenure issues. Australia supplied more than $300 million in aid in FY07/08, which accounts for nearly 20% of the national budget. A consortium led by a major American oil company hopes to begin the commercialization of the country's estimated 227 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves through the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility by 2010. The project has the potential to double the GDP of Papua New Guinea.
$13.21 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
$12.32 billion (2007 est.)
$11.62 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$8.092 billion (2008 est.)
7.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
6% (2007 est.)
2.6% (2006 est.)
$2,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
$2,100 (2007 est.)
$2,000 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 33.3%
industry: 36.3%
services: 30.4% (2008 est.)
3.639 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
agriculture: 85%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (2005 est.)
1.9% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 16
37% (2002 est.)
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)
50.9 (1996)
country comparison to the world: 19
19.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
revenues: $2.62 billion
expenditures: $2.797 billion (2008 est.)
37.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
59.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
10.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
0.9% (2007 est.)
7% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 55
7.38% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 86
9.78% (31 December 2007)
$2.009 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 96
$1.685 billion (31 December 2007)
$1.729 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 110
$1.482 billion (31 December 2007)
$2.092 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 119
$1.486 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
$NA (31 December 2007)
$6.632 billion (31 December 2006)
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
5.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
2.885 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
2.683 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
38,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
33,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
32,490 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
14,380 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
88 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
100 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
100 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 131
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
226.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
$710 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
$193.6 million (2007 est.)
$5.719 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
$4.748 billion (2007 est.)
oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Australia 28%, Japan 9.5%, China 5.5% (2008)
$3.124 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
$2.629 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Australia 43.3%, Singapore 15.9%, China 10.2%, Japan 5.9% (2008)
$1.987 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$2.087 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$1.651 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
$1.646 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$NA
$NA
kina (PGK) per US dollar - 2.6956 (2008 est.), 3.03 (2007), 3.0643 (2006), 3.08 (2005), 3.2225 (2004)
Communications ::Papua New Guinea
60,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 158
600,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 152
general assessment: services are minimal; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
domestic: access to telephone services is not widely available; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is 11 per 100 persons
international: country code - 675; submarine cables to Australia and Guam; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international radio communication service (2008)
AM 8, FM 19, shortwave 28 (1998)
3 (all in the Port Moresby area; stations at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Lae, and Rabaul are planned) (2004)
.pg
3,432 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 140
120,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 147
Transportation ::Papua New Guinea
560 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 12
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 (2009)
total: 539
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 63
under 914 m: 467 (2009)
2 (2009)
oil 195 km (2008)
total: 19,600 km
country comparison to the world: 111
paved: 686 km
unpaved: 18,914 km (2000)
11,000 km (2006)
country comparison to the world: 12
total: 21
country comparison to the world: 98
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 17, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 6 (UAE 6) (2008)
Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Rabaul, Wewak
Military ::Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF; includes Maritime Operations Element, Air Operations Element) (2009)
16 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription (2008)
males age 16-49: 1,481,417
females age 16-49: 1,385,040 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 1,110,175
females age 16-49: 1,127,758 (2009 est.)
male: 64,636
female: 62,803 (2009 est.)
1.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
Transnational Issues ::Papua New Guinea
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
refugees (country of origin): 10,177 (Indonesia) (2007)
current situation: Papua New Guinea is a country of destination for women and children from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and China trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; internal trafficking of women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude occurs as well
tier rating: Tier 3 - Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the current legal framework does not contain elements of crimes that characterize trafficking; the government lacks victim protection services or a systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking; the government did not prosecute anyone in 2007 for trafficking; Papua New Guinea has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)
major consumer of cannabis