Papua New Guinea People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


7,399,757 (July 2021 est.)


noun: Papua New Guinean(s)

adjective: Papua New Guinean

Ethnic groups

Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian


Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 839 indigenous languages spoken (about 12% of the world's total); many languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers

note: Tok Pisin, a creole language, is widely used and understood; English is spoken by 1%-2%; Hiri Motu is spoken by less than 2%


Protestant 64.3% (Evangelical Lutheran 18.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.9%, Pentecostal 10.4%, United Church 10.3%, Evangelical Alliance 5.9%, Anglican 3.2%, Baptist 2.8%, Salvation Army .4%), Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 5.3%, non-Christian 1.4%, unspecified 3.1% (2011 est.)

note: data represent only the citizen population; roughly .3% of the population are non-citizens, consisting of Christian 52% (predominantly Roman Catholic), other 10.7% , none 37.3%

Age structure

0-14 years: 31.98% (male 1,182,539/female 1,139,358)

15-24 years: 19.87% (male 731,453/female 711,164)

25-54 years: 37.68% (male 1,397,903/female 1,337,143)

55-64 years: 5.83% (male 218,529/female 204,717)

65 years and over: 4.64% (male 164,734/female 171,916) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 63.2

youth dependency ratio: 57.4

elderly dependency ratio: 5.8

potential support ratio: 17.2 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 24 years

male: 24 years

female: 24 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.61% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

22.08 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Death rate

5.97 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 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


urban population: 13.5% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.91% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

391,000 PORT MORESBY (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

145 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 40.33 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 45.32 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 35.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.86 years

male: 67.37 years

female: 72.48 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.79 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

36.7% (2016/18)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 89.4% of population

rural: 36.1% of population

total: 43% of population

unimproved: urban: 10.6% of population

rural: 63.9% of population

total: 57% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

2.4% (2018)

Physicians density

0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 55.5% of population

rural: 9.1% of population

total: 15.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 44.5% of population

rural: 90.9% of population

total: 84.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.9% (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

55,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children

HIV/AIDS - deaths

note: estimate does not include children

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

21.3% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

27.8% (2009/11)

Education expenditures

1.9% of GDP (2018)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 64.2%

male: 65.6%

female: 62.8% (2015)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.6%

male: 4.3%

female: 3% (2010 est.)

People - note

the indigenous population of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is one of the most heterogeneous in the world; PNG has several thousand separate communities, most with only a few hundred people; divided by language, customs, and tradition, some of these communities have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbors for millennia; the advent of modern weapons and modern migrants into urban areas has greatly magnified the impact of this lawlessness

Mother's mean age at first birth

note: median age a first birth among women 25-49

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.