Papua New Guinea

Introduction :: Papua New Guinea


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. Since 2001, Bougainville has experienced autonomy; a referendum asking the population if they would like independence or greater self rule occurred in November 2019, with almost 98% of voters choosing independence.

Geography :: Papua New Guinea


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

Geographic coordinates

6 00 S, 147 00 E

Map references



total: 462,840 sq km

land: 452,860 sq km

water: 9,980 sq km

Area – comparative

Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 824 km

border countries (1): Indonesia 824 km


5,152 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines


tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation


mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills


mean elevation: 667 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m

Natural resources

gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries

Land use

agricultural land: 2.6% (2011 est.)

arable land: 0.7% (2011 est.) /** permanent crops:** 1.5% (2011 est.) /** permanent pasture:** 0.4% (2011 est.)

forest: 63.1% (2011 est.)

other: 34.3% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the highlands and eastern coastal areas on the island of New Guinea; predominantly a rural distribution with only about one-fifth of the population residing in urban areas

Natural hazards

active volcanism; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis

volcanism: severe volcanic activity; Ulawun (2,334 m), one of Papua New Guinea’s potentially most dangerous volcanoes, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Rabaul (688 m) destroyed the city of Rabaul in 1937 and 1994; Lamington erupted in 1951 killing 3,000 people; Manam’s 2004 eruption forced the island’s abandonment; other historically active volcanoes include Bam, Bagana, Garbuna, Karkar, Langila, Lolobau, Long Island, Pago, St. Andrew Strait, Victory, and Waiowa; see note 2 under “Geography – note”

Environment – current issues

rain forest loss as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; unsustainable logging practices result in soil erosion, water quality degredation, and loss of habitat and biodiversity; large-scale mining projects cause adverse impacts on forests and water quality (discharge of heavy metals, cyanide, and acids into rivers); severe drought; inappropriate farming practices accelerate land degradion (soil erosion, siltation, loss of soil fertility); destructive fishing practices and coastal pollution due to run-off from land-based activities and oil spills

Environment – international agreements

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography – note

note 1: shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; generally east-west trending highlands break up New Guinea into diverse ecoregions; one of world’s largest swamps along southwest coast

note 2: Papua New Guinea is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

People and Society :: Papua New Guinea


7,259,456 (July 2020 est.)


noun: Papua New Guinean(s)

adjective: Papua New Guinean

Ethnic groups

Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian


Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 839 indigenous languages spoken (about 12% of the world’s total); many languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers

note: Tok Pisin, a creole language, is widely used and understood; English is spoken by 1%-2%; Hiri Motu is spoken by less than 2%


Protestant 64.3% (Evangelical Lutheran 18.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.9%, Pentecostal 10.4%, United Church 10.3%, Evangelical Alliance 5.9%, Anglican 3.2%, Baptist 2.8%, Salvation Army .4%), Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 5.3%, non-Christian 1.4%, unspecified 3.1% (2011 est.)

note: data represent only the citizen population; roughly .3% of the population are non-citizens, consisting of Christian 52% (predominantly Roman Catholic), other 10.7% , none 37.3%

Age structure

population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 63.2

youth dependency ratio: 57.4

elderly dependency ratio: 5.8

potential support ratio: 17.2 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 24 years

male: 24 years

female: 24 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.6% (2020 est.)

Birth rate

22.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Death rate

6.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the highlands and eastern coastal areas on the island of New Guinea; predominantly a rural distribution with only about one-fifth of the population residing in urban areas


urban population: 13.3% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 2.51% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas – population

383,000 PORT MORESBY (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

145 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 33.2 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 29.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.8 years

male: 65.6 years

female: 70 years (2020 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.84 children born/woman (2020 est.)

Drinking water source

improved:** urban:** 89.4% of population

rural: 36.1% of population

total: 43% of population

unimproved:** urban:** 10.6% of population

rural: 63.9% of population

total: 57% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

2.5% (2017)

Physicians density

0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access

improved:** urban:** 55.5% of population

rural: 9.1% of population

total: 15.2% of population

unimproved:** urban:** 44.5% of population

rural: 90.9% of population

total: 84.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

0.8% (2018 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS

45,000 (2018 est.)

HIV/AIDS – deaths

1,100 (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

Obesity – adult prevalence rate

21.3% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

27.8% (2010)

Education expenditures



definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 64.2%

male: 65.6%

female: 62.8% (2015)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.6%

male: 4.3%

female: 3% (2010 est.)

People – note

the indigenous population of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is one of the most heterogeneous in the world; PNG has several thousand separate communities, most with only a few hundred people; divided by language, customs, and tradition, some of these communities have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbors for millennia; the advent of modern weapons and modern migrants into urban areas has greatly magnified the impact of this lawlessness

Government :: Papua New Guinea

Country name

conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea

conventional short form: Papua New Guinea

local short form: Papuaniugini

former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea

abbreviation: PNG

etymology: the word “papua” derives from the Malay “papuah” describing the frizzy hair of the Melanesians; Spanish explorer Ynigo ORTIZ de RETEZ applied the term “Nueva Guinea” to the island of New Guinea in 1545 after noting the resemblance of the locals to the peoples of the Guinea coast of Africa

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: Port Moresby

geographic coordinates: 9 27 S, 147 11 E

time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: Papua New Guinea has two time zones, including Bougainville (UTC+11)

etymology: named in 1873 by Captain John Moresby (1830-1922) in honor of his father, British Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby (1786-1877)

Administrative divisions

20 provinces, 1 autonomous region, and 1 district; Bougainville, Central, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, East Sepik, Enga, Gulf, Hela, Jiwaka, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, Morobe, National Capital, New Ireland, Northern, Southern Highlands, Western, Western Highlands, West New Britain, West Sepik


16 September 1975 (from the Australia-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Independence Day, 16 September (1975)


history: adopted 15 August 1975, effective at independence 16 September 1975

amendments: proposed by the National Parliament; passage has prescribed majority vote requirements depending on the constitutional sections being amended absolute majority, two-thirds majority, or three-fourths majority; amended many times, last in 2014

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Papua New Guinea

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Grand Chief Sir Bob DADAE (since 28 February 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister James MARAPE (since 30 May 2019); Deputy Prime Minister Charles ABEL (since 4 August 2017)

cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general nominated by the National Parliament and appointed by the chief of state; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general pending the outcome of a National Parliament vote
election results: Peter Paire O’NEILL (PNC) reelected prime minister; National Parliament vote – 60 to 46

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Parliament (111 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies – 89 local, 20 provinicial, the autonomous province of Bouganville, and the National Capital District – by majority preferential vote; members serve 5-year terms); note – the constitution allows up to 126 seats

elections: last held from 24 June 2017 to 8 July 2017 (next to be held in June 2022)

election results: percent of vote by party – PNC 37%; NA 13%; Pangu 14%; URP 11%; PPP 4%; SDP 4%; Independents 3%; and smaller parties 14%; seats by party – NA; composition – men 108, women 3, percent of women 3%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, deputy chief justice, 35 justices, and 5 acting justices); National Courts (consists of 13 courts located in the provincial capitals, with a total of 19 resident judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the governor general upon advice of the National Executive Council (cabinet) after consultation with the National Justice Administration minister; deputy chief justice and other justices appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, a 5-member body that includes the Supreme Court chief and deputy chief justices, the chief ombudsman, and a member of the National Parliament; full-time citizen judges appointed for 10-year renewable terms; non-citizen judges initially appointed for 3-year renewable terms and after first renewal can serve until age 70; appointment and tenure of National Court resident judges NA

subordinate courts: district, village, and juvenile courts, military courts, taxation courts, coronial courts, mining warden courts, land courts, traffic courts, committal courts, grade five courts

Political parties and leaders

National Alliance Party or NAP [Patrick PRUAITCH]
Papua and Niugini Union Party or PANGU [Sam BASIL]
Papua New Guinea Party or PNGP [Belden NAMAH]
People’s National Congress Party or PNC [Peter Paire O’NEILL]
People’s Party or PP [Peter IPATAS]
People’s Progress Party or PPP [Sir Julius CHAN]
Social Democratic Party or SDP [Powes PARKOP]
Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party or THE [Don POLYE]
United Resources Party or URP [William DUMA]

note: as of 8 July 2017, 45 political parties were registered

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

Ambassador (vacant); Charge DAffaires Cephas KAYO (since 31 January 2018)
chancery: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: 1 745-3680

FAX: 1 745-3679

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Erin Elizabeth MCKEE (since 27 November 2019); note – also accredited to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu

telephone: [675] 321-1455

embassy: P.O. Box 1492, Port Moresby

mailing address: 4240 Port Moresby Place, US Department of State, Washington DC 20521-4240

FAX: [675] 321-3423

Flag description

divided diagonally from upper hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is red with a soaring yellow bird of paradise centered; the lower triangle is black with five, white, five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross constellation centered; red, black, and yellow are traditional colors of Papua New Guinea; the bird of paradise – endemic to the island of New Guinea – is an emblem of regional tribal culture and represents the emergence of Papua New Guinea as a nation; the Southern Cross, visible in the night sky, symbolizes Papua New Guinea’s connection with Australia and several other countries in the South Pacific

National symbol(s)

bird of paradise; national colors: red, black

National anthem


Economy :: Papua New Guinea

Economy – overview

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain, land tenure issues, and the high cost of developing infrastructure. The economy has a small formal sector, focused mainly on the export of those natural resources, and an informal sector, employing the majority of the population. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the people. The global financial crisis had little impact because of continued foreign demand for PNG’s commodities.

Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. Natural gas reserves amount to an estimated 155 billion cubic meters. Following construction of a $19 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, PNG LNG, a consortium led by ExxonMobil, began exporting liquefied natural gas to Asian markets in May 2014. The project was delivered on time and only slightly above budget. The success of the project has encouraged other companies to look at similar LNG projects. French supermajor Total is hopes to begin construction on the Papua LNG project by 2020. Due to lower global commodity prices, resource revenues of all types have fallen dramatically. PNGs government has recently been forced to adjust spending levels downward.

Numerous challenges still face the government of Peter O’NEILL, including providing physical security for foreign investors, regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatizing moribund state institutions, and maintaining good relations with Australia, its former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including chronic law and order and land tenure issues. In August, 2017, PNG launched its first-ever national trade policy, PNG Trade Policy 2017-2032. The policy goal is to maximize trade and investment by increasing exports, to reduce imports, and to increase foreign direct investment (FDI).

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$30.19 billion (2017 est.)
$29.44 billion (2016 est.)
$28.98 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$19.82 billion (2017 est.)

GDP – real growth rate

2.5% (2017 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
5.3% (2015 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)

$3,700 (2017 est.)
$3,600 (2016 est.)
$3,700 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

36.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
38% of GDP (2016 est.)
33.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use

household consumption: 43.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19.7% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 10% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 49.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -22.3% (2017 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 22.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 42.9% (2017 est.)

services: 35% (2017 est.)

Agriculture – products

coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; poultry, pork; shellfish


copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining (gold, silver, copper); crude oil and petroleum products; construction, tourism, livestock (pork, poultry, cattle), dairy products, spice products (turmeric, vanilla, ginger, cardamom, chili, pepper, citronella, and nutmeg), fisheries products

Industrial production growth rate

3.3% (2017 est.)

Labor force

3.681 million (2017 est.)

Labor force – by occupation

agriculture: 85%

industry: NA

services: NA

Unemployment rate

2.5% (2017 est.)
2.5% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line

37% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)


revenues: 3.638 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 4.591 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

18.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

36.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
36.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.4% (2017 est.)
6.7% (2016 est.)

Current account balance

$4.859 billion (2017 est.)
$4.569 billion (2016 est.)


$8.522 billion (2017 est.)
$9.224 billion (2016 est.)

Exports – partners

Australia 18.9%, Singapore 17.5%, Japan 13.8%, China 12.7%, Philippines 4.7%, Netherlands 4.2%, India 4.2% (2017)

Exports – commodities

liquefied natural gas, oil, gold, copper ore, nickel, cobalt logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, copra, spice (turmeric, vanilla, ginger, and cardamom), crayfish, prawns, tuna, sea cucumber


$1.876 billion (2017 est.)
$2.077 billion (2016 est.)

Imports – commodities

machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals

Imports – partners

Australia 30.1%, China 17.3%, Singapore 10.2%, Malaysia 8.2%, Indonesia 4% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.735 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.656 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt – external

$17.94 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$18.28 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

kina (PGK) per US dollar –
3.179 (2017 est.)
3.133 (2016 est.)
3.133 (2015 est.)
2.7684 (2014 est.)
2.4614 (2013 est.)

Energy :: Papua New Guinea

Electricity access

electrification – total population: 22.9% (2016)
electrification – urban areas: 72.7% (2016)
electrification – rural areas: 15.5% (2016)

Electricity – production

3.481 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – consumption

3.237 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – exports

0 kWh (2017 est.)

Electricity – imports

0 kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – installed generating capacity

900,900 kW (2016 est.)

Electricity – from fossil fuels

63% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

Electricity – from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants

30% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity – from other renewable sources

7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Crude oil – production

45,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

Crude oil – exports

55,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil – imports

22,220 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil – proved reserves

183.8 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products – production

22,170 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products – consumption

37,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)

Refined petroleum products – exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products – imports

17,110 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas – production

11.18 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – consumption

99.11 million cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – exports

11.1 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – imports

0 cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas – proved reserves

210.5 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

6.082 million Mt (2017 est.)

Communications :: Papua New Guinea

Telephones – fixed lines

total subscriptions: 154,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (July 2016 est.)

Telephones – mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 3.782 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 55 (July 2016 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: services are minimal; Internet slow and expensive; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services; a great deal of the population is under served in telecommunications; terrain, living conditions and economic stability is not high; 2G still exists in rural areas, 3G and 4G LTE in urban areas; the launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in 2019, will improve most services in the region (2020)

domestic: access to telephone services is not widely available; fixed-line 2 per 100 and mobile-cellular 55 per 100 person, teledensity has increased (2018)

international: country code – 675; landing points for the Kumul Domestic Submarine Cable System, PNG-LNG, APNG-2, CSCS and the PPC-1 submarine cables to Australia, Guam, PNG and Solomon Islands; satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic’s effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry – mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite – has moderated

Broadcast media

4 TV stations: 1 commercial station operating since 1987, 1 state-run station launched in 2008, 1 digital free-to-view network launched in 2014, and 1 satellite network Click TV (PNGTV) launched in 2015; the 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 (2018)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 787,764

percent of population: 11.21% (July 2018 est.)

Broadband – fixed subscriptions

total: 17,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)

Military and Security :: Papua New Guinea

Military and security forces

Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF, includes land, maritime, and air elements) (2019)

Military expenditures

0.27% of GDP (2018)
0.34% of GDP (2017)
0.39% of GDP (2016)
0.47% of GDP (2015)
0.49% of GDP (2014)

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Papau New Guinea Defense Force has approximately 3,000 active duty troops (2,700 Ground; 200 Maritime; 100 Air)
(2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the PNGDF has a limited inventory consisting of a diverse mix of foreign-supplied weapons and equipment; Papau New Guinea receives most of its military assistance from Australia; since 2010, it has also received equipment from China and New Zealand (2019 est.)

Military service age and obligation

16 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; graduation from grade 12 required (2013)

Transportation :: Papua New Guinea

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2015)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 47 (2015)

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,062,584 (2015)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 34,827,034 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

P2 (2016)


561 (2013)

Airports – with paved runways

total: 21 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2017)

under 914 m: 1 (2017)

Airports – with unpaved runways

total: 540 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 53 (2013)

under 914 m: 476 (2013)


2 (2013)


264 km oil (2013)


total: 9,349 km (2011)

paved: 3,000 km (2011)

unpaved: 6,349 km (2011)


11,000 km (2011)

Merchant marine

total: 171

by type: bulk carrier 7, general cargo 76, oil tanker 3, other 85 (2019)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Rabaul, Wewak

LNG terminal(s) (export): Port Moresby

Transnational Issues :: Papua New Guinea

Disputes – international

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 9,368 (Indonesia) (2018)

IDPs: 14,000 (natural disasters, tribal conflict, inter-communal violence, development projects) (2019)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Papua New Guinea is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; foreign and Papua New Guinean women and children are subjected to sex trafficking, domestic servitude, forced begging, and street vending; parents may sell girls into forced marriages to settle debts or as peace offerings or trade them to another tribe to forge a political alliance, leaving them vulnerable to forced domestic service, or, in urban areas, they may prostitute their children for income or to pay school fees; Chinese, Malaysian, and local men are forced to labor in logging and mining camps through debt bondage schemes; migrant women from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude at logging and mining camps, fisheries, and entertainment sites

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the Criminal Code Amendment of 2013, which prohibits all forms of trafficking was brought into force in 2014; the government also formed an anti-trafficking committee, which drafted a national action plan; despite corruption problems, trafficking-related crimes were prosecuted in village courts rather than criminal courts, resulting in restitution to the victim but no prison time for offenders; the government did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any officials or law enforcement personnel complicit in trafficking offenses; the government made no efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims, has no formal victim identification and referral mechanism, and does not provide care facilities to victims or funding to shelters run by NGOs or international organizations (2015)

Illicit drugs

major consumer of cannabis


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