New Guinea’s population increased in 1990–2019 from 3.6 million to 8.6 million. Only 13 percent of the population lives in cities, the second lowest proportion in the whole of Oceania. The largest cities are Port Moresby (317,400 residents in 2012) and Lae. Extensive areas of the country’s interior are almost unpopulated, while the population density is relatively high in some of the river valleys in the highlands, in some places along the coasts and on some islands.
According to Countryaah data, Papua New Guinea’s indigenous population is made up of Papuans in the inner parts of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago and Melanesians along the coasts and disintegrates in nearly a thousand ethnic groups, many of which number only a few hundred individuals. Since the end of the 19th century, there is also a Chinese minority in the country.
In official contexts, three languages are used: tok pisin, English and hiri-motu. Of these three, taken pisin, originally an English-based pidgin language, is by far the most important. It is still a second language for most people, but there are over 100,000 people who spoke taking pisin as their first language. In the capital Port Moresby there is a tendency for the Creole language to take pisin in some respects is approaching the “mother tongue” English (compare Creole language). Hiri-motu (see motu), formerly one of many native pidgin languages, is spoken mainly in the southern parts of the country. In addition, an estimated 750–850 structurally very different papua languages are spoken within the country or so-called non-Austronesian languages, the largest of which are about 160,000 speakers. In addition to these, there are a large number of Austronesian languages spoken mainly in the coastal areas of the country.
About 59% of the population (1994) are Protestants (34% Lutherans); 33% are Roman Catholics. On the domestic Melanesian religion, see Oceania (Religion).
Port Moresby, (after British Admiral Fairfax Moresby, 1786-1877, whose son mapped New Guinea’s south coast in 1873), capital of Papua New Guinea; 284,000 residents (2005). According to thesciencetutor, the city is located on the south coast of New Guinea with the original port city center. Its natural extension to the east is blocked by a ridge, and the new suburbs, which grew up after World War II, are therefore at some distance from the old town, among other things. Boroko with shopping centers and Waigani with government districts and the country’s university. The overall picture of the city is thus a collection of suburbs rather than an actual metropolis.
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Compared to the country as a whole, Port Moresby is poorly positioned on the south side of the inconvenient Owen Stanley Range, and almost all passenger traffic to the other cities takes place per day. aircraft. The city has some industry, especially the food and beverage industry and the iron and metal industry that produces for the domestic market.
In July 1999, after the resignation of B. Skate (appointed in 1997), the post of head of government was taken on by M. Morauta, who inherited a very critical economic and financial situation. To encourage a revival of the economy, the prime minister was concerned with strengthening ties with the country’s main financiers, namely Australia and the International Monetary Fund, while to favor a solution to the political and civil tensions caused by the conflict with the secessionist movement. of the island of Bougainville, rich in mineral resources, granted the territory a regime of wide autonomy, signing (February 2001) an agreement for a referendum on self-determination, to be held within 10-15 years. The economic reforms adopted by Morauta to meet the demands of the World Bank met with tenacious resistance; in particular, the privatization program provoked student demonstrations in June which were severely repressed. The legislative elections (June-July 2002) were accompanied by tensions and violent clashes, especially in the three inner provinces of the Highlands ; of the 103 seats, 19 went to the National Alliance Party, led by M. Somare, 12 to the People’s Democratic Movement, from Morauta, 17 to independent candidates and the remainder to a number of smaller parties. The ambitious economic recovery program promoted by Somare, who was elected prime minister, did not achieve appreciable results; in the following years, on the contrary, the economic conditions of the country worsened. The spread of corruption and crime also caused concern in neighboring Australia which, with the Enhanced Cooperation Program, signed in June 2004, undertook to send 250 security forces officers and 70 officials to NPCs assigned to responsible positions in the finance, justice, administration and other sectors. However, relations between the two countries, already cracked by a diplomatic incident which occurred in March 2005 (on the occasion of a visit to Australia, Somare was subjected to a search at the airport), went into crisis in May, when the Supreme Court qualified the Australian presence as unwanted external interference and threat to the country’s sovereignty, declaring it unconstitutional.