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Oceania, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, independent nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, located north of Australia and east of Indonesia. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, called the mainland, and several hundred smaller islands. The western part of New Guinea forms the Indonesian province of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya). Most Papua New Guineans live in rural villages along the coast or in the rugged interior. High mountains and rain forests isolate many villages, although a network of roads and airstrips serves mines and plantations. Since the country's independence from Australia in 1975, town and city life has expanded as villagers have migrated to urban areas in search of employment. Port Moresby, located on the mainland's southeastern coast, is Papua New Guinea's capital and largest city.

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