Papua New Guinea Geography - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Location

Oceania, 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

Geographic coordinates

6 00 S, 147 00 E

Map references

Oceania

Area

total: 462,840 sq km

land: 452,860 sq km

water: 9,980 sq km

country comparison to the world: 57

Area - comparative

slightly larger than California

Land boundaries

total: 824 km

border countries (1): Indonesia 824 km

Coastline

5,152 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines

Climate

tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation

Terrain

mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

Elevation

highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 667 m

Natural resources

gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries

Land use

agricultural land: 2.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.5% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 63.1% (2018 est.)

other: 34.3% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

801 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the highlands and eastern coastal areas on the island of New Guinea; predominantly a rural distribution with only about one-fifth of the population residing in urban areas

Natural hazards

active volcanism; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis

volcanism: severe volcanic activity; Ulawun (2,334 m), one of Papua New Guinea's potentially most dangerous volcanoes, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Rabaul (688 m) destroyed the city of Rabaul in 1937 and 1994; Lamington erupted in 1951 killing 3,000 people; Manam's 2004 eruption forced the island's abandonment; other historically active volcanoes include Bam, Bagana, Garbuna, Karkar, Langila, Lolobau, Long Island, Pago, St. Andrew Strait, Victory, and Waiowa; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note

note 1: shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; generally east-west trending highlands break up New Guinea into diverse ecoregions; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast

note 2: two major food crops apparently developed on the island of New Guinea: bananas and sugarcane

note 3: Papua New Guinea is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

NOTE: The information regarding Papua New Guinea on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Papua New Guinea 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Papua New Guinea 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.