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Papua New Guinea[Country flag of Papua New Guinea]
[Country map of Papua New Guinea]

Introduction 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.
Geography Papua New Guinea
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: 0.46%
permanent crops: 1.44%
other: 98.1% (2001)
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, 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
Population:
5,545,268 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.1% (male 1,072,910/female 1,037,635)
15-64 years: 58.1% (male 1,662,166/female 1,559,685)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 99,777/female 113,095) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 21.09 years
male: 21.25 years
female: 20.93 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.26% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
29.95 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
7.37 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 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: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 51.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 55.63 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.93 years
male: 62.76 years
female: 67.21 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.96 children born/woman (2005 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 (2004)
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: 715 indigenous languages - many unrelated
Literacy:
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
former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea
abbreviation: PNG
Government type:
constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy
Capital:
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
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
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 (vacant)
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; note - association with political parties is fluid (2003)
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, party leader]; Melanesian Alliance Party or MAP [Sir Moi AVEL, party leader]; National Alliance Party or NA [Michael SOMARE, party leader; George MANOA, party president]; National Party [Melchior PEP, party leader]; Papua and Niugini Union Party or PANGU [Chris HAIVETA, party leader]; Papua New Guinea First Party [Cecilking DORUBA, party leader]; Papua New Guinea Labor Party [Bob DANAYA, party leader]; Papua New Guinea Party (was People's Democratic Movement or PDM) [Sir Mekere MORAUTA, party leader]; People's Action Party or PAP [Moses MALADINA, party leader]; People's Labor Party or PLP [Ekis ROPENU, party leader]; People's National Congress or PNC [Peter O'NEILL, party leader]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Andrew BAING, party leader]; Pipol First Party [Luther WENGE, party leader]; Rural People's Party [Peter NAMUS, party leader]; United Party [Bire KIMASOPA, party leader]; United Resources Party or URP [Tim NEVILLE, party leader] (2004)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACP, APEC, ARF, AsDB, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, 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 Robert W. FITTS
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 72% of export earnings. The economy has improved over the past two years, following a prolonged period of instability. Former Prime Minister Mekere MORAUTA had tried to restore integrity to state institutions, to stabilize the kina, restore stability to the national budget, to privatize public enterprises where appropriate, and to ensure ongoing peace on Bougainville. Australia annually supplies $240 million in aid, which accounts for 20% of the national budget. Challenges face Prime Minister Michael SOMARE, including gaining further investor confidence, continuing efforts to privatize government assets, maintaining the support of members of Parliament, and balancing relations with Australia, the former colonial ruler.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$11.99 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.9% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 34.5%
industry: 34.7%
services: 30.8% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
3.32 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 85%, industry NA, services NA
Unemployment rate:
NA
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):
4.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
13.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $1.174 billion
expenditures: $1.232 billion, including capital expenditures of $344 million (2004 est.)
Public debt:
59.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, poultry, pork
Industries:
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:
NA
Electricity - production:
1.679 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 54.1%
hydro: 45.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
1.561 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
46,200 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
15,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
170 million bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:
110 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
110 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
385.5 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
$29.15 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$2.437 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Exports - partners:
Australia 28%, Japan 5.8%, Germany 4.7%, China 4.6% (2004)
Imports:
$1.353 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Australia 46.4%, Singapore 21.6%, Japan 4.3%, New Zealand 4.2% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$635.8 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.463 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$400 million (1999 est.)
Currency (code):
kina (PGK)
Currency code:
PGK
Exchange rates:
kina per US dollar - 3.2225 (2004), 3.5635 (2003), 3.8952 (2002), 3.3887 (2001), 2.7822 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Papua New Guinea
Telephones - main lines in use:
62,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
15,000 (2002)
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)
Radios:
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)
Televisions:
59,841 (1999)
Internet country code:
.pg
Internet hosts:
389 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)
Internet users:
75,000 (2002)
Transportation Papua New Guinea
Highways:
total: 19,600 km
paved: 686 km
unpaved: 18,914 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
10,940 km (2003)
Pipelines:
oil 264 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Kimbe, Lae, Rabaul
Merchant marine:
total: 22 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 47,586 GRT/60,934 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 17, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Singapore 2, United Kingdom 6) (2005)
Airports:
571 (2004 est.)
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 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 550
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 62
under 914 m: 478 (2004 est.)
Heliports:
2 (2004 est.)
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 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 902,432 (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 1 November, 2005


 

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