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The People of Papua New Guinea, Population and Principal Cities

Melanesians, Goroka, Papuans, Wewak, southern section

Papua New Guinea’s estimated population in 2002 was 5,172,033 and the population density was 11 persons per sq km (29 per sq mi). More than four-fifths of the people live on the mainland.

Nearly the entire population belongs to the diverse Papuan or Melanesian ethnic groups, which are closely related. There is a small minority of whites (mostly Australian) and Asians (mostly Chinese). Most Papuans live in the mountainous interior and the southern section of the mainland. The Melanesians primarily live in the north and east of the mainland, and on the islands. The largest cities are Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Wewak, and Goroka, but most of these are relatively small (only Port Moresby and Lae have more than 50,000 people). The population is predominantly rural, with only 17 percent of the population residing in urban areas.

Article key phrases:

Melanesians, Goroka, Papuans, Wewak, southern section, Madang, fifths, largest cities, Lae, population density, Port Moresby, islands, entire population, Asians, urban areas, mainland, percent, persons, people


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