Facts about PNG

Papua New Guinea is bordered on the north by the Bismarck Sea, on the east by the Solomon Sea, on the south by the Coral Sea, the Gulf of Papua, and the Torres Strait, and on the west by the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. Its other nearest neighbours are the Solomon Islands, Australia and Vanuatu to the south, Micronesia to the east and Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines to the north.

Papua New Guinea is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the British Commonwealth. The country consists of the eastern half of New Guinea Island, the Bismarck Archipelago, the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, the Louisiade Archipelago, and the islands of Buka and Bougainville. The country is divided into 20 provinces. The eastern half of the island of New Guinea, called the mainland, accounts for more than 80 per cent of the total land area of 462,840 sq km (178,704 sq mi). It has a population of 4,394,537 (1996, official estimate). Tourist facilities exist in the capital of Port Moresby and in major towns such as Lae and Madang. The standards of the facilities vary and may be below U.S. standards, particularly in remote areas but very appealing to adventure lovers..

Population : 4,599,785 (July 1998 est.)
Population growth rate : 2.27% (1998 est.)
Birth rate : 32.37 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)
Death rate : 9.65 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)
Sex ratio :-
at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years : 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 0.84 male(s)/female (1998 est.)
Infant mortality rate : 57.09 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)
Total fertility rate : 4.26 children born/woman (1998 est.)
Life expectancy at birth :-
total population : 58.06 years
male : 57.18 years [54.6 years]*
female : 58.98 years (1998 est.) [53.5 years]*
Literacy :- (definition - age 15 and over can read and write)
total population :72.2% male : 81% [49.5%]*
female :62.7% (1995 est.) [40.3%]*
Religions :- Roman Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society 8%, Anglican 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1%, other Protestant sects 10%, indigenous beliefs 34%
Nationality :-
noun : Papua New Guinean(s)
adjective :Papua New Guinean
Languages : English spoken by 1%-2%, pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region
note : 715 indigenous languages
English is the official language of administration and is taught in school, pidgin is widespread and Motu spoken in the Southern region. 715 indigenous languages*
Text source:
Most details quoted from CIA World Factbook.
* represents data from the National Dept. of Health, National Health Plan 2001-2010

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