Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Papua New Guinea
Flag of Papua New Guinea                                Map of Papua New Guinea
Background: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.
Location: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:Oceania
Area: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
Coastline: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
Climate:tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: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:NA
Total renewable water resources:801 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 0.1 cu km/yr (56%/43%/1%)
per capita: 17 cu m/yr (1987)
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
Population:5,795,887 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 37.6% (male 1,107,568/female 1,070,594)
15-64 years: 58.5% (male 1,745,385/female 1,643,830)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 106,487/female 122,023) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 21.4 years
male: 21.5 years
female: 21.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:2.163% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:28.76 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:7.14 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.035 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.062 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.873 male(s)/female
total population: 1.043 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 48.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 44.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 65.62 years
male: 63.41 years
female: 67.95 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:3.79 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:0.6% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:60,000 (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:600 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2008)
Nationality:noun: Papua New Guinean(s)
adjective: Papua New Guinean
Ethnic groups:Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
Religions: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%
Languages: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)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.3%
male: 63.4%
female: 50.9% (2000 census)
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
Capital: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
Independence:16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:Independence Day, 16 September (1975)
Constitution:16 September 1975
Legal system:based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: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 Puka TEMU (since 29 August 2007)
cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by governor general on recommendation of prime minister
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; governor general nominated by parliament and appointed by chief of state; following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition usually is appointed prime minister by governor general
Legislative branch:unicameral National Parliament (109 seats, 89 filled from open electorates and 20 from provinces and national capital distict; 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
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: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)
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation: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, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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 W. Rowe
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
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—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 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 and chronic law and order and land tenure issues. Australia will supply more than $300 million in aid in FY07/08, which accounts for nearly 20% of the national budget.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$16.56 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$5.914 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:4% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$2,900 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 35.5%
industry: 37%
services: 27.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force:3.557 million (2007 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 85%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:1.9% 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):1.8% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):20.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $2.209 billion
expenditures: $1.994 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:43.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; shell fish, poultry, pork
Industries: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:4.8% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:3.698 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:3.439 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:50,000 bbl/day (January 2006 est.)
Oil—consumption:26,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:44,580 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:24,020 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:240 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:95.91 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:95.91 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:331.3 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$314 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$4.553 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Exports—partners:Australia 30.2%, Japan 8.2%, China 5.7% (2006)
Imports:$2.269 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Imports—partners:Australia 52%, Singapore 12.6%, China 5.9%, Japan 4.3% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$1.664 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$1.814 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:$4.863 billion (2005)
Economic aid—recipient:$266.1 million (2005)
Currency (code):kina (PGK)
Exchange rates:kina per US dollar - 3.03 (2007), 3.0643 (2006), 3.08 (2005), 3.2225 (2004), 3.5635 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones—main lines in use:63,700 (2005)
Telephones—mobile cellular:75,000 (2005)
Telephone system: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 telephone density is less than 3 telephones per 100 persons
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)
Television broadcast stations:3 (all in the Port Moresby area; stations at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Lae, and Rabaul are planned) (2004)
Internet country
Internet hosts:2,436 (2007)
Internet users:110,000 (2006)
Airports:578 (2007)
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 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 557
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 58
under 914 m: 489 (2007)
Heliports:2 (2007)
Pipelines:oil 264 km (2007)
Roadways:total: 19,600 km
paved: 686 km
unpaved: 18,914 km (1999)
Waterways:11,000 km (2006)
Merchant marine:total: 24 ships (1000 GRT or over) 56,157 GRT/72,821 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 20, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 6 (UK 6) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Rabaul, Wewak
Military branches:Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF; includes Maritime Operations Element, Air Operations Element) (2008)
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—percent of GDP:1.4% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues
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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 9,991 (Indonesia) (2006)
Illicit drugs:major consumer of cannabis


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