The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is occupied by the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Irian Jaya). It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region defined since the early 19th century as Melanesia., and has maritime borders with Micronesia, Naura, Solomon Islands and Australia. In the east lies the autonomous province of Bougainville.Its capital, and one of its few major cities, is Port Moresby.

It is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under 6 million. It is also one of the most rural, with only 18 per cent of its people living in urban centres.

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