Skip to Main Navigation


Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the most linguistically diverse country in the world, with over 850 indigenous languages. It has a remarkable diversity of geographic and natural resources. The country occupies the eastern half of the West Pacific Island of New Guinea, together with the main islands of New Britain, New Ireland, and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, as well as another 600 smaller islands and atolls.

PNG’s population of over 11.78 million people is young and growing with 85% of Papua New Guineans living in rural areas. The country’s rich culture is complex and deeply rooted in tribal and ethnic identity and relationships to the land. These contribute both to the country’s unique challenges as well as its considerable resilience. 

PNG’s growth trajectory and abundant resource potential provides a strong platform for greater economic engagement with Asia and beyond. 

The country’s economy remains dominated by two broad sectors: 

·       the agricultural, forestry, and fishing sector that engages most of PNG’s labor force (the majority informally); and 

·       the minerals and energy extraction sector that accounts for most export earnings and GDP. 

The economy in PNG is projected to expand by 4.8% in 2024 (compared to 2.7% in 2023), according to the World Bank’s April 2024 forecast. Despite a challenging external environment, the economic outlook in PNG remains broadly positive, mostly driven by a strong performance in the non-extractive sector, with agriculture seen as one of the key contributors to PNG’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity.

In the last 40 years, PNG’s modest headline economic growth has translated into limited per capita income growth. Papua New Guinea’s economic potential is restrained by excessive macroeconomic volatility, low productivity growth, and excessive reliance on natural resources, while at the same time missing opportunities to take full advantage of its human capital, according to the report, Country Economic Memorandum for Papua New Guinea.

To achieve stronger and more inclusive economic growth, Papua New Guinea should seek to maintain greater economic stability, boost productivity, and nurture human capital – including significant work to deliver gender equality – and physical infrastructure like electricity, telecommunications, road and other transport infrastructure that remain critical to supporting private sector-led growth. 

The World Bank continues to support the Government of PNG to strengthen macroeconomic management and improve service delivery to ensure development benefits reach all Papua New Guineans, particularly the 85% living in rural areas.

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2024


Papua New Guinea: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

In Depth

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Port Moresby
World Bank Group Office
Suite 1, Level 3, PWC Haus, Allotment 34, Section 44 Granville
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
+679 322-8900
1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433
+1 202-473-4709