About PNG



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Background

Two territories administered by Australia merged in 1949 and became independent in 1975. An abundance of minerals and petroleum brightens the outlook for this tropical nation comprising eastern New Guinea and many small islands, including Bougainville and the Bismarck Archipelago. A patchwork of mountains, jungles, and swamplands, the country is home to some 700 Papuan and Melanesian tribes, each with its own language. The 20th century has hardly touched many interior tribespeople.

Most of the inhabitants are subsistence farmers, although some grow cash crops. Papua New Guinea seeks foreign investment to finance industry and hydropower projects. In the past decade Australian aid has shrunk from a third to less than a fifth of the national budget.

Area
461,691 sq km (178,260 sq mi)
Population
4,669,000
Capital
Port Moresby (193,200 people)
Religion
Protestant, Indigenous Beliefs, Roman Catholic
96% Christians, Traditional Beliefs*
Language
715 indigenous languages
Literacy
72%
40.3% for females, 49.5% for males*
Life expectancy
58 years
53.5 for females, 54.6 for males
GDP per capita
$2,650
Economy
Ind: copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, mining.
Agr: coffee, cocoa, coconuts; poultry, pork.
Exp: gold, copper ore, oil, logs, coffee, palm oil, cocoa, lobster.
Text source:
National Geographic Atlas of the World, Seventh Edition, 1999
* represents data from the National Dept. of Health, National Health Plan 2001-2010


Facts about PNG | Pidgin English Dictionary | Pictorial PNG

This web-site was last updated on the 20th of Oct. 2001