East & Southeast Asia :: 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: 55
    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: 0.65%
    permanent crops: 1.51%
    other: 97.84% (2011)
    0 sq km (2003)
    801 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.39 cu km/yr (57%/43%/0%)
    per capita: 61.3 cu m/yr (2005)
    active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
    volcanism: severe volcanic activity; Ulawun (elev. 2,334 m), one of Papua New Guinea's potentially most dangerous volcanoes, has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Rabaul (elev. 688 m) destroyed the city of Rabaul in 1937 and 1994; Lamington erupted in 1951 killing 3,000 people; Manam's 2004 eruption forced the island's abandonment; other historically active volcanoes include Bam, Bagana, Garbuna, Karkar, Langila, Lolobau, Long Island, Pago, St. Andrew Strait, Victory, and Waiowa
    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 and Society ::Papua New Guinea

    noun: Papua New Guinean(s)
    adjective: Papua New Guinean
    Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
    Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 836 indigenous languages spoken (about 12% of the world's total); most languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers
    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%
    Roman Catholic 27%, Protestant 69.4% (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%), Baha'i 0.3%, indigenous beliefs and other 3.3% (2000 census)
    6,431,902 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    0-14 years: 35.5% (male 1,160,586/female 1,120,258)
    15-24 years: 19.5% (male 636,602/female 619,885)
    25-54 years: 36% (male 1,198,799/female 1,117,510)
    55-64 years: 5.2% (male 167,625/female 164,018)
    65 years and over: 3.8% (male 129,852/female 116,767) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 69.3 %
    youth dependency ratio: 64.3 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.9 %
    potential support ratio: 20.3 (2013)
    total: 22.2 years
    male: 22.4 years
    female: 21.9 years (2013 est.)
    1.89% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    25.4 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    6.54 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    urban population: 13% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PORT MORESBY (capital) 314,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.14 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    230 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    total: 40.84 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 54
    male: 44.53 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 36.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 66.66 years
    country comparison to the world: 168
    male: 64.44 years
    female: 69 years (2013 est.)
    3.31 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    32.4% (2007)
    3.6% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    urban: 87% of population
    rural: 33% of population
    total: 40% of population
    urban: 13% of population
    rural: 67% of population
    total: 60% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 71% of population
    rural: 41% of population
    total: 45% of population
    urban: 29% of population
    rural: 59% of population
    total: 55% of population (2010 est.)
    0.9% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    34,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    1,300 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
    16.2% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    18.1% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 62.4%
    male: 65.4%
    female: 59.4% (2011 est.)
    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 27 S, 147 11 E
    time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    20 provinces, 1 autonomous region*, and 1 district**; Bougainville*, Central, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, East Sepik, Enga, Gulf, Hela, Jiwaka, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, Morobe, National Capital**, New Ireland, Northern, Southern Highlands, Western, Western Highlands, West New Britain, West Sepik
    16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
    Independence Day, 16 September (1975)
    16 September 1975
    mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Michael OGIO (since 25 February 2011)
    head of government: Prime Minister Peter Paire O'NEILL (since 2 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister Leo DION (since 9 August 2012)
    cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general 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 appointed prime minister by the governor general acting in accordance with a decision of the parliament; Peter Paire O'NEILL elected prime minister by parliament on 3 August 2012 by a vote of 94 to 12
    unicameral National Parliament (111 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 23 June 2012 to 27 July 2012 (next to be held in June 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - People's National Congress Party 27, Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party 12, PNG Party 8, National Alliance Party 7, United Resources Party 7, People's Party 6, People's Progess Party 6, other parties 22, independents 16
    note: 14 other parties won 3 or fewer seats; association with political parties is fluid
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, deputy chief justice, and 28 other judges); National Courts (10 courts located in the province capitals, with a total of 16 resident judges )
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the governor-general upon advice of the National Executive Council (cabinet) after consultation with the National Justice Administration Minister; deputy chief justice and other justices appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, a 5-member body to include the Supreme Court chief and deputy chief justices, the chief ombudsman, and a member of the National Parliament; citizen judges appointed for 10-year renewable terms; non-citizen judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms; appointment and tenure of National Court resident judges NA
    subordinate courts: district, village, and juvenile courts
    National Alliance Party or NA [Patrick PRUAITCHI]
    Papua New Guinea Party or PNGP [Beldan NEMAH]
    People's National Congress Party or PNC [Peter Paire O'NEILL]
    People's Party or PP
    People's Progress Party or PPP
    Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party or THE [Don POYLE]
    United Resources Party or URP [William DUMA]
    note: as of 13 March 2012, 41 political parties were registered
    Centre for Environment Law and Community Rights or Celcor [Damien ASE]
    Community Coalition Against Corruption
    National Council of Women
    Transparency International PNG
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Elias Rahuromo WOHENGU
    chancery: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 745-3680
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-3679
    chief of mission: Ambassador Walter E. NORTH
    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; red, black, and yellow are traditional colors of Papua New Guinea; the bird of paradise - endemic to the island of New Guinea - is an emblem of regional tribal culture and represents the emergence of Papua New Guinea as a nation; the Southern Cross, visible in the night sky, symbolizes Papua New Guinea's connection with Australia and several other countries in the South Pacific
    bird of paradise
    name: "O Arise All You Sons"

    lyrics/music: Thomas SHACKLADY
    note: adopted 1975

Economy ::Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea (PNG) is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain, land tenure issues, and the high cost of developing infrastructure. The economy has a small formal sector, focused mainly on the export of those natural resources, and an informal sector, employing the majority of the population. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the people. Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. Natural gas reserves amount to an estimated 155 billion cubic meters. A consortium led by a major American oil company is constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility that could begin exporting in 2014. As the largest investment project in the country's history, it has the potential to double GDP in the near-term and triple Papua New Guinea's export revenue. An American-owned firm also opened PNG's first oil refinery in 2004 and is building a second LNG production facility. The government faces the challenge of ensuring transparency and accountability for revenues flowing from this and other large LNG projects. In 2011 and 2012, the National Parliament passed legislation that created an offshore Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to manage government surpluses from mineral, oil, and natural gas projects. In recent years, the government has opened up markets in telecommunications and air transport, making both more affordable to the people. Numerous challenges still face the government of Peter O'NEILL, including providing physical security for foreign investors, regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatizing moribund state institutions, and maintaining good relations with Australia, its former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including chronic law and order and land tenure issues. The global financial crisis had little impact because of continued foreign demand for PNG's commodities.
    $19.41 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    $17.79 billion (2011 est.)
    $16.02 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $15.79 billion (2012 est.)
    9.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    11.1% (2011 est.)
    7.6% (2010 est.)
    $2,800 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    $2,700 (2011 est.)
    $2,500 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    7.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    18.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
    10.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 46.4%
    government consumption: 17%
    investment in fixed capital: 20.7%
    investment in inventories: 0.9%
    exports of goods and services: 69.8%
    imports of goods and services: -54.8%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 28%
    industry: 38.6%
    services: 33.4% (2012 est.)
    coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; poultry, pork; shellfish
    copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining (gold, silver, and copper); crude oil production, petroleum refining; construction, tourism
    13% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    3.986 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    agriculture: 85%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA% (2005 est.)
    1.9% (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    1.8% (2004)
    37% (2002 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.7%
    highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)
    50.9 (1996)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    revenues: $4.532 billion
    expenditures: $4.769 billion (2012 est.)
    28.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    -1.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    14.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    12.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    2.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    8.4% (2011 est.)
    14% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    6.92% (31 December 2009 est.)
    10.82% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    10.81% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $5.301 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    $4.488 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $8.624 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $7.134 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.342 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    $3.093 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $8.999 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $9.742 billion (31 December 2010)
    $12.21 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$4.381 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    -$48.5 million (2011 est.)
    $5.604 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $6.791 billion (2011 est.)
    oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
    Australia 29%, Japan 9.6%, China 4.8% (2012)
    $4.412 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    $4.24 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
    Australia 36.3%, Singapore 13.8%, Malaysia 8.4%, China 7.9%, Japan 5.8%, US 4.8% (2012)
    $4.001 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    $4.323 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $13.25 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $12.44 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    kina (PGK) per US dollar -
    2.0837 (2012 est.)
    2.371 (2011 est.)
    2.7193 (2010 est.)
    2.7551 (2009)
    2.6956 (2008)

Energy ::Papua New Guinea

Communications ::Papua New Guinea

    130,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    2.4 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    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 although combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity has increased to roughly 40 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 675; submarine cables to Australia and Guam; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international radio communication service (2009)
    2 TV stations, 1 commercial station operating since the late 1980s and 1 state-run station launched in 2008; satellite and cable TV services are available; state-run National Broadcasting Corporation operates 3 radio networks with multiple repeaters and about 20 provincial stations; several commercial radio stations with multiple transmission points as well as several community stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are accessible (2009)
    5,006 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    125,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 152

Transportation ::Papua New Guinea

Military ::Papua New Guinea

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): 9,368 (Indonesia) (2012)
    current situation: Papua New Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude; families may sell girls into forced marriages to settle debts, leaving them vulnerable to forced domestic service; local and Chinese men are forced to labor in logging and mining camps; migrant women from Malaysia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude at logging and mining camps, fisheries, and entertainment sites
    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; despite acknowledging trafficking as a problem, the government has not enacted legislation to criminalize all forms of trafficking, investigated any suspected trafficking offenses, prosecuted or convicted any trafficking offenders under existing laws, addressed allegations of officials being complicit in human trafficking crimes, or identified or assisted any trafficking victims; Papua New Guinea is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol
    major consumer of cannabis