|Anthem||O Arise, All You Sons
Watch on youtube
|Largest city||Port Moresby|
|Papua New Guinean|
|Government||Federal Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy|
|Area||462,840 km2, 178,703 sq mi|
|Population||~ 7 million|
|Currency||Papua New Guinean kina (PGK)|
Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania. It occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands. It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, north of Australia.
The capital of the country is Port Moresby. The city is the largest city of Papua New Guinea and has an estimated population of 307,643.
SOCIETY AND CULTURE
Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse countries on Earth. There are over 850indigenous languages in the country. There are almost as many traditional societies in the population of just under 7 million.
There are hundreds of ethnic groups indigenous to Papua New Guinea. The majority is from the group known as Papuans. Many remote Papuan tribes still have only little contact with the outside world. Another ethnic group is the group of Austronesians. There are also numerous people from other parts of the world in the country, including Chinese, Europeans, Australians, Filipinos, Polynesians and Micronesians.
Papua New Guinea has more languages than any other country. Over 820 indigenous languages in the country represent twelve percent of the world’s total. The indigenous languages are classified into two large groups: Austronesian languages and non-Austronesian (or Papuan) languages. There are three official languages in Papua New Guinea. English is an official language and is the language of government and the education system. However, it is not widely spoken. The primary lingua franca of the country is Tok Pisin (commonly known in English as New Guinea Pidgin). The only area where Tok Pisin is not dominant is the southern region of Papua. In this region, people often use the third official language, Hiri Motu.
The 2000 census found that 96% of citizens identified themselves as members of a Christian church. However, many citizens combine their Christian faith with some pre-Christian traditional indigenous religious practices. Minority religions include the Bahá’í Faith (15,000 people) and Islam (more than 4000 people).
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Papua New Guinea’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. She is also the head of state of 15 other countries and of the Commonwealth of Nations, of which Papua New Guinea is a member. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, currently Sir Paulias Matane. Actual executive power lies with the Prime Minister who heads the cabinet. The current Prime Minister is Sir Michael Somare.
Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources. Agriculture provides alivelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. The country also has a notable coffee industry. Othercrops include cocoa, oil palm and tea. Still, many people live in extreme poverty. About one third of the population lives on less than US$1.25 per day.