Papua New Guinea

country in Oceania

Papua New Guinea is an island country located on the Pacific Ocean. It is the east half of New Guinea island, plus some nearby islands. The capital city of Papua New Guinea is Port Moresby. The population of Papua New Guinea are mostly the Indigenous peoples of the island.

Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini
Emblem of Papua New Guinea
Motto: "Unity in diversity"[1]
Anthem: O Arise, All You Sons [2]
Location of Papua New Guinea
and largest city
Port Moresby
9°30′S 147°07′E / 9.500°S 147.117°E / -9.500; 147.117
Official languages[3]
Demonym(s)Papua New Guinean
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a totalitarian dictatorship
• Monarch
Charles III
Bob Dadae
James Marape
LegislatureNational Parliament
• from Australia
16 September 1975
• Total
462,840 km2 (178,700 sq mi) (56th)
• Water (%)
• 2011 Census preliminary results estimate
7,059,653[4] (102nd)
• 2000 census
• Density
15/km2 (38.8/sq mi) (201st)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$16.863 billion[5]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$12.655 billion[5]
• Per capita
Gini (1996)50.9
HDI (2011)Increase 0.466
low · 153rd
CurrencyPapua New Guinean kina (PGK)
Time zoneUTC+10 (AEST)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+10 (not observed)
(as of 2005)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+675
ISO 3166 codePG

The island is in both Australasia and Oceania, which are two different terms for the continent of islands in the Pacific area. It borders Indonesia to the west and near Australia to the south.

Papua New Guinea has more languages than any other country.[6]



Long ago, around 42,000 to 45,000 years ago, people came to Papua New Guinea. They were related to people who left Africa a long time ago and moved to other parts of the world. A study in 2016 found that it was about 50,000 years ago that these people came to a big land called Sahul, which is Australia and New Guinea combined. About 10,000 years ago, the sea level rose and New Guinea became an island. But even before that, the people in Australia and Papua New Guinea became different from each other about 37,000 years ago. Scientists found out that the ancestors of Papuans mixed with another group of people called Denisovans when they were in Asia a long time ago. They share 4% to 7% of their genes with these ancient people.

Around 9,000 years ago, people in New Guinea started growing their own plants and farming. This was one of the few places in the world where people did this without learning it from others. Later, around 2,500 years ago, some people who spoke Austronesian languages moved to the coasts of New Guinea. They brought new things like pottery, pigs, and fishing methods with them.

In the 18th century, traders brought a new kind of food called sweet potato to New Guinea. It was from South America and introduced by Portuguese traders to the Moluccas. People in New Guinea liked it and it became a popular food. Sweet potato gardens produced more crops than the traditional taro, and this helped societies grow and become more prosperous.



Administrative divisions


Papua New Guinea is divided into four regions. These regions are important for government, commercial, sporting and other activities.

The nation has 20 province-level divisions: eighteen, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the National Capital District. Each province is divided into one or more districts. The districts are divided into one or more Local Level Government areas.

The province-level divisions are as follows:

  1. Central
  2. Chimbu (Simbu)
  3. Eastern Highlands
  4. East New Britain
  5. East Sepik
  6. Enga
  7. Gulf
  8. Madang
  9. Manus
  10. Milne Bay
  1. Morobe
  2. New Ireland
  3. Northern (Oro Province)
  4. Bougainville (autonomous region)
  5. Southern Highlands
  6. Western Province (Fly)
  7. Western Highlands
  8. West New Britain
  9. West Sepik (Sandaun)
  10. National Capital District
Provinces of Papua New Guinea.

Parliament has approved two additional provinces by 2012: Hela Province, which will be part of the current Southern Highlands Province, and Jiwaka Province, which will be formed by dividing Western Highlands Province.[7]

In Morobe (#11 on the map) there is a goldfield.


  1. Somare, Michael (6 December 2004). "Stable Government, Investment Initiatives, and Economic Growth". Keynote address to the 8th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Conference. Archived from the original on 2006-06-28. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
  2. "Never more to rise". The National (February 6, 2006). Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2005.
  3. "Papua New Guinea". The World Factbook. Langley, Virginia: Central Intelligence Agency. 2012. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  4. Population a concern Archived 2013-06-28 at (25 June 2013)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Papua New Guinea". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  6. "What countries have the most languages?". Ethnologue. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  7. "Post-Courier, "Jiwaka, Hela set to go!" July 15, 2009". 15 July 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2010.

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