The World Factbook (1982)/Papua New Guinea

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Papua New Guinea


World Factbook (1982) Papua New Guinea.jpg
(See reference map X)


475,369 km2

Land boundaries: 966 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (economic including fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: about 5,152 km


Population: 3,126,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.2%

Nationality: noun—Papua New Guinean(s); adjective—Papua New Guinean

Ethnic divisions: predominantly Melanesian and Papuan; some Negrito, Micronesian, and Polynesian

Religion: over one-half of population nominally Christian (490,000 Catholic, 320,000 Lutheran, other Protestant sects); remainder animist

Language: 715 indigenous languages; pidgin English in much of the country and Motu in Papua region are linguae francae; English spoken by 1% to 2% of population

Literacy: 15%; in English, 0.1%

Labor force: 1.44 million (1979); agriculture, forestry, fishing employ 85% of labor force; 200,000 (1979 est.) in salaried employment


Official name: Papua New Guinea

Type: independent parliamentary state within Commonwealth recognizing Elizabeth II as head of state

Capital: Port Moresby

Political subdivisions: 19 administrative districts (15 in New Guinea, 4 in Papua)

Legal system: based on English common law

National holiday: Independence Day, 16 September

Branches: executive—National Executive Council; legislature—House of Assembly (109 members); judiciary—court system consists of Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea and various inferior courts (district courts, local courts, children's courts, wardens' courts)

Government leaders: Governor General Sir Tore LOKO-LOKO; Prime Minister Sir Julius CHAN

Suffrage: universal adult suffrage

Elections: preferential-type elections for 109-member House of Assembly every five years, next held in June 1982

Political parties: Pangu Party, People's Progress Party, United Party, Papua Besena, National Party, Melanesian Alliance

Communists: no significant strength

Member of: ADB, CIPEC (associate), Commonwealth, ESCAP (associate), FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, ITU, South Pacific Commission, South Pacific Forum, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO (associate)


GNP: $2.05 billion (FY79 est.), $650 per capita; real growth (1979) 3% est

Agriculture: main crops—coffee, cocoa, coconuts, timber, tea

Major industries: sawmilling and timber processing, copper mining (Bougainville)

Electric power: 425,000 kW capacity (1980); 1.275 billion kWh produced (1980), 398 kWh per capita

Exports: $960.0 million (f.o.b., 1979); copper, coconut products, coffee beans, cocoa, copra, timber

Imports: $935.5 million (c.i.f., 1979)

Major trade partners: Australia, UK, Japan

Aid: economic—Australia, $1,158 million committed (1976-81); World Bank group (1968-September 1969), $14.8 million committed; US, Ex-Im bank loans (FY70-73), $32.5 million extended

Budget: (1979) $759 million

Monetary conversion rate: Kina $1=US$1.5 (December 1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: none

Highways: 19,200 km total; 640 km paved, 10,960 km gravel, crushed stone, or stabilized soil surface, 7,600 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 10,940 km

Ports: 5 principal, 9 minor

Civil air: about 15 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 535 total, 433 usable; 18 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 41 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: Papua New Guinea telecom services are adequate and are being improved; facilities provide radiobroadcast, radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio and international radiocommunication services; submarine cables extend from Madang to Australia and Guam; 45,274 telephones (1.5 per 100 popl.); 31 AM, no FM and no TV stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 748,000; about 413,000 fit for military service

Supply: dependent on Australia

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 June 1982, $33.6 million; 3.0% of central government budget