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PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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A Map of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Background: The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997, after claiming some 20,000 lives.
Location: Southeastern Asia, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia. Area - comparative: Slightly larger than California. Coastline: 5,152 km.
Climate and Terrain: Tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation. Mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills. Elevation extremes: Lowest point:  Pacific Ocean 0 m, highest point:  Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m. Natural resources: Gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries. Land use: Arable land:  0.1%, forests and woodland:  92.9%, other:  6%.
People: Population: 5,049,055. Ethnic groups: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian. Religions: Roman Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society 8%, Anglican 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1%, other Protestant 10%, indigenous beliefs 34%/ Languages: English spoken by 1%-2%, 715 indigenous languages.
Government: Capital: The Settlement.
Economy overview: Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by the rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. Agriculture - products: Coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables; poultry, pork.
Statistics: Telephones - main lines in use: 47,000. Telephones - mobile cellular: 3,053. Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 19, shortwave 28. Radios: 410,000. Television broadcast stations: 3. Televisions: 42,000. Internet country code: .pg Internet users: 2,000. Railways: 0 km. Highways: Total:  19,600 km, paved:  686 km, unpaved:  18,914 km. Waterways: 10,940 km. Airports - with paved runways: 20, with unpaved runways: 472.

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