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Papua New Guinea



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Introduction

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

Location: Southeastern Asia, 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
  continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
  exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 12 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: 0.1%
  permanent crops: 1%
  permanent pastures: 0%
  forests and woodland: 92.9%
  other: 6% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Rim 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, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
  signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast

People

Population: 4,926,984 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 39% (male 972,289; female 940,049)
  15-64 years: 58% (male 1,470,158; female 1,365,523)
  65 years and over: 3% (male 84,942; female 94,023) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.47% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 32.68 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
  total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 59.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 63.1 years
  male: 61.05 years
  female: 65.26 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.38 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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: English spoken by 1%-2%, pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region (Note: 715 indigenous languages)

Literacy
  definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 72.2%
  male: 81%
  female: 62.7% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea
  conventional short form: Papua New Guinea
  abbreviation: PNG

Data code: PP

Government type: 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 Silas ATOPARE (since 13 November 1997)
  head of government: Prime Minister Mekere MORAUTA (since NA August 1999); Deputy Prime Minister Mao ZEMING (since NA December 1999)
  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; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general for up to five years on the basis of majority support in National Parliament

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 14-28 June 1997 (next to be held NA June 2002)
  election results: percent of vote by party - PPP 15%, Pangu Pati 14%, NA 14%, PDM 8%, PNC 6%, PAP 5%, UP 3%, NP 1%, PUP 1%, independents 33%; seats by party - PPP 16, Pangu Pati 15, NA 15, PDM 9, PNC 7, PAP 5, UP 3, NP 1, PUP 1, independents 37; note - association with political parties is very 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: Black Action Party [Paul WANJIK]; Bougainville Unity Alliance or BUA [Samuel AKOITAI]; Christian Democratic Party [Dilu GOMA]; Hausman Party [Waim TOKAM]; League for National Advancement or LNA [leader NA]; Liberal Party [Rabbie SAMAI]; Melanesian Alliance or MA [Fr. John MOMIS]; Melanesian Labor Party [Paul MONDIA]; Milne Bay Party [Simon MUMURIK]; Movement for Greater Autonomy [Stephen POKAWIN]; National Alliance or NA [Michael SOMARE]; National Party or NP [Paul PORA]; Papua New Guinea First Party (includes People's National Congress or PNC [Simon KAUMI] and Christian Country Party [Avusi TANO]); Papua New Guinea United Party or Pangu Pati [Chris HAIVETA]; People's Action Party or PAP [Ted DIRO]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Iario LASARO]; People's National Alliance [leader NA]; People's Progress Party or PPP [Michael NALI]; People's Resources Awareness Party [leader NA]; People's Solidarity Party [Kala SWOKIM]; People's Unity Party or PUP [Alfred KAIABE]; United Party or UP [Rimbiuk PATO]; United Resource Party [Masket IANGALIO]

International organization participation: ACP, APEC, AsDB, ASEAN (observer), C, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Nagora Y. BOGAN
  chancery: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
  telephone: [1] (202) 745-3680
  FAX: [1] (202) 745-3679

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Arma Jane KARAER
  embassy: Douglas Street, Port Moresby
  mailing address: P. O. Box 1492, Port Moresby
  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

Economy - overview: Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by the rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for the bulk of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. Budgetary support from Australia and development aid under World Bank auspices have helped sustain the economy. In 1995, Port Moresby reached agreement with the IMF and World Bank on a structural adjustment program, of which the first phase was successfully completed in 1996. In 1997, droughts caused by the El Nino weather pattern wreaked havoc on Papua New Guinea's coffee, cocoa, and coconut production, the mainstays of the agricultural-based economy and major sources of export earnings. The coffee crop was slashed by up to 50% in 1997. Despite problems with drought, the year 1998 saw a small recovery in GDP. Growth increased to 3.6% in 1999 and may be even higher in 2000, say 4.3%.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $11.6 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3.6% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 25%
  industry: 35%
  services: 40% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: 1.7%
  highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 16.5% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 1.941 million

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget
  revenues: $1.6 billion
  expenditures: $1.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

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: 1.74 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 69.54%
  hydro: 30.46%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 1.618 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables; poultry, pork

Exports: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish and prawns

Exports - partners: Australia 20%, Japan 13%, Germany 7%, South Korea 5%, Philippines 4%, UK 3% (1998)

Imports: $1 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals

Imports - partners: Australia 51%, Singapore 10%, Japan 8%, US 5%, New Zealand 5%, Malaysia 3% (1998)

Debt - external: $2.4 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $400 million (1999 est.)

Currency: 1 kina (K) = 100 toea

Exchange rates: kina (K) per US$1 - 2.7624 (November 1999), 2.520 (1999), 2.058 (1998), 1.434 (1997), 1.318 (1996), 1.276 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 44,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (1995)

Telephone system: services are adequate and being improved; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
  domestic: mostly radiotelephone
  international: 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 (1997)

Televisions: 42,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (1999)

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  total: 19,600 km
  paved: 686 km
  unpaved: 18,914 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 10,940 km

Ports and harbors: Kieta, Lae, Madang, Port Moresby, Rabaul

Merchant marine
  total: 21 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 36,417 GRT/52,432 DWT
  ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 10, chemical tanker 1, combination ore/oil 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll-on/roll-off 3 (1999 est.)

Airports: 492 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 19
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
  914 to 1,523 m: 3
  under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 473
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
  914 to 1,523 m: 58
  under 914 m: 402 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Papua New Guinea Defense Force (includes Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, and Special Forces Unit)

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 1,274,818 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 706,159 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $42 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1% (FY98)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

 

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