Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern part of the world’s second largest island and is prey to volcanic activity, earthquakes and tidal waves.
Linguistically, it is the world’s most diverse country, with more than 700 native tongues.
Some 80% of Papua New Guinea’s people live in rural areas with few or no facilities of modern life.
Many tribes in the isolated mountainous interior have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world, and live within a non-monetarised economy dependent on subsistence agriculture.
- The Independent State of Papua New Guinea
- Capital: Port Moresby
- Population 7.2 million
- Area 462,840 sq km (178,704 sq miles)
- Major languagesEnglish, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu
- Major religionsChristianity, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy 61 years (men), 66 years (women)
- Currency kina