Papua New Guinea no fact yet of the day

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister says he does not know the exact size of his country’s population after a report suggested that the number of people living in the Pacific nation could be almost twice the official figure.

A new study compiled by the UN Population Fund has implied that Papua New Guinea’s population may have ballooned to 17mn compared with the official figure of 9.4mn, according to a report in The Australian newspaper. James Marape, who was re-elected as Papua New Guinean prime minister in August, told the newspaper he believed that the population could be 11mn but admitted he might be wrong.

The lack of clarity around the size of the country’s population has serious implications for its economic status and raises doubts over its ability to provide services to its people.

If the study, which has not been published, is correct then it would almost halve the country’s gross domestic per capita levels from about 4,000 kina ($1,136), according to Maholopa Laveil, a fellow at the Lowy Institute think-tank and an economics lecturer.

Of course I am rooting for the higher number of people.  Here is the full FT story.


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