Papua New Guinea

Official Country Name
Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Overview
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.

Papua New Guinea Economy
Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. The government of Prime Minister SOMARE has expended much of its energy remaining in power and should be the first government in decades to serve a full five-year term. The government also brought stability to the national budget, largely through expenditure control, however, it has relaxed spending constraints in 2006 and 2007 as elections approach. Numerous challenges still face the government including regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatizing moribund state institutions, and balancing relations with Australia, the former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including a worsening HIV/Aids epidemic and chronic law and order and land tenure issues. Australia annually supplies $240 million in aid, which accounts for nearly 20% of the national budget.

Papua New Guinea Location
Papua New Guinea is located in Oceania, 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

Papua New Guinea is located in Oceania

Papua New Guinea Population
Papua New Guinea has population of 5,670,544 (July 2006 est.)

Papua New Guinea Climate
Papua New Guinea has tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation

Papua New Guinea Terrain
mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

Papua New Guinea Natural Resources
gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries

Ethnic Groups in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has the following ethnic groups - Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian

Papua New Guinea 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%

Papua New Guinea Languages
Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2%, Motu spoken in Papua region note: 820 indigenous languages spoken (over one-tenth of the world's total)

Papua New Guinea Capital
Papua New Guinea capital is Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea Currency
Papua New Guinea currency is kina

Map of Papua New Guinea