Papua New Guinea Overview

Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean. There have been people in New Guinea since ancient times and finds have been found from people estimated to be 60,000 years old. These people are believed to have come from Southeast Asia. About 10,000 years ago, the island’s population began to settle in the highlands and a primitive agricultural culture emerged.

Papua New Guinea flagPapua New Guinea 2

Capital: Port Moresby
Biggest city: Port Moresby
State: monarchy within the Commonwealth
Language: English, hiri motu, tok pisin
Religion: Christianity
Surface: 462 840 km²
Population: 7.2 million (2013)
Population density: 13 residents per km²
Expectancy: 66 years
Illiteracy: 43%
Currency: china (PGK)
1 china = 2.59 kr
GDP per capita: $ 2,300 (2010)
Time difference: +9 hours
Electricity: 240 V AC, 50 Hz
National Day: 16 September
Country area code: 675
2-Letter country abbreviation: PG (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 64%, service sector and industry 36%
Climate: tropical; rainy season from December to March

Very little is known about New Guinea before the 19th century, although European explorers arrived in the 16th century. The northern part of the country became a German colony, German New Guinea, in the 1880s, but during World War I the area was occupied by Australia who already administered the southern part of the island.

In 1975, Papua New Guinea became independent. On the island of Bougainville, where there was a rich copper mine that was vital to the country’s economy, there was already an independence movement. In 1988, open fighting broke out that is believed to have claimed the lives of 20,000 people. The fighting lasted until 1997. There are now peacekeeping troops on the island from several countries and a peace process is underway that will possibly lead to a referendum on independence around 2010.

There are three official languages ​​in the country, in addition to the more than 800 native Papuan and Austronesian languages ​​spoken there. Over ten percent of the world’s languages ​​are spoken in Papua New Guinea. English is the official language, as are New Guinea-pidgin (tok pisin) and hiri motu. With an average of 7,000 speakers per language, Papua New Guinea has a higher language density than any other country besides Vanuatu.

Papua New Guinea is located in one of the few regions near the equator that experiences snow. Snow occurs on the highest points of the island of New Guinea.


The following objects in Papua New Guinea are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Kuk, an archeological site with ancient cultivations (2008)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Papua New Guinea

Voltage: 240 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: I

Need an adapter: Yes, Swedes need an adapter.


Weather in Port Moresby

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 29 29 29 29 28 27 26 25 26 27 28 29
Soltim / day 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 8


Lae is the capital of Morabe Province, and Papua New Guinea’s second largest city. It is located at the beginning of the Highlands Highway which is the main route to the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Lae has the country’s largest port for cargo transport vessels.


Madang is the capital of the province of Madang in Papua New Guinea, and is located on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. The city has 27,420 residents (2005) and is sometimes described as one of the most beautiful cities in the South Seas.

Mount Hagen

Mount Hagen is Papua New Guinea’s third largest city and the capital of the Western Highlands province. The city has almost 30,000 residents. Every year, the “Mount Hagen Cultural Show” is held here, which is one of the country’s foremost cultural events. Clans from different parts of the country gather here once a year to perform a so-called sing-sing. This is also the country’s biggest tourist attraction.

Port Moresby

According to Countryaah, Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea and is located on the Gulf of Papua in southeastern New Guinea. The city has 254,158 residents (2000). The city became the capital of the country in 1975 at independence. New government buildings were erected at Waigani to house government agencies. The new parliament building, which opened in 1984, mixes traditional design with modern building technology. The National Museum and National Library are also in the area.

Unfortunately, several of these buildings have now been abandoned due to long-term neglect. Several buildings are now showing clear signs of decay due to neglected maintenance, broken fire escape stairs, dirty toilets and broken lifts. The city is often covered by smoke from small fires started by residents. The fires die by themselves without intervention from the local fire brigade.

In 2004, Port Moresby was ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the worst of 130 surveyed capitals to live in (Baghdad, however, was not on the list). Rape, robbery and murder are common and large areas are controlled by criminal gangs. According to a 2004 article in The Guardian, unemployment is between 60 and 90 percent, murder is three times more common than in Moscow and 23 times more common than in London.