Papua New Guinea

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Mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills


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


Nationality: Papua New Guinean(s)
Population: 6,552,730  (July 2014 est.) 
Languages: Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 836 indigenous languages spoken (about 12% of the world’s total); most languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers


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) 


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. Mineral deposits account for nearly 2/3 of export earnings.

Living Conditions

Papua is a tropical region and its inhabitants experience the hardships of life in an environment where rain, heat, and mosquitoes are ever-present. Malaria is endemic (native) to the region and most local inhabitants of the low-lying areas suffer from this debilitating disease. Healing is a long process in the tropics and, as a result, infection is a serious problem. Most of Papua, though, is a relatively healthy region of the world. 


Constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

US Military Presence/Support






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