Papua New Guinea | Facts & Information

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
Infoplease has everything you need to know about Papua New Guinea. Check out our country profile, full of essential information about Papua New Guinea's geography, history, government, economy, population, culture, religion and languages. If that's not enough, click over to our collection of world maps and flags.

Facts & Figures

  • Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

    Governor-General: Michael Ogio (2011)

    Prime Minister: Peter Paire O'Neill (2012)

    Land area: 174,849 sq mi (452,860 sq km); total area: 178,703 sq mi (462,840 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 6,552,730 (growth rate: 1.84%); birth rate: 24.89/1000; infant mortality rate: 39.67/1000; life expectancy: 66.85

    Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Port Moresby, 343,000

    Monetary unit: Kina

    Current government officials

    Languages: Tok Pisin (Melanesian Pidgin, the lingua franca), Hiri Motu (in Papua region) less than 2%, English 1%–2%; 836 indigenous languages

    Ethnicity/race: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian

    Religions: 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)

    Literacy rate: 62.4% (2011 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $19.96 billion; per capita $2,900. Real growth rate: 5.4%. Inflation: 3.8%. Unemployment: 1.9% (2008). Arable land: 0.65%. Agriculture: coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla, shellfish, poultry, pork. Labor force: 4.077 million (2013 est.); agriculture 27.6%, industry 39.1%, services 33.3%. Industries: copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood-chip production; mining of gold, silver, and copper; crude oil production, petroleum refining; construction, tourism. Natural resources: gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries. Exports: $5.392 billion (2013 est.): oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns. Imports: $4.587 billion (2013 est.): machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals. Major trading partners: Australia, Japan, China, Germany, Singapore, U.S., Malaysia (2012).

    Member of Commonwealth of Nations

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 139,000 (2012); mobile cellular: 2.709 million (2012). Broadcast media: 2 television 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) Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5,006 (2012). Internet users: 125,000 (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 9,349 km; paved: 3,000 km; unpaved: 6,349 km (2011 est.). Waterways: 11,000 km (2011). Ports and terminals: Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Rabaul, Wewak. Airports: 561 (2013).

    International disputes: 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.

    Major sources and definitions