Papua New Guinea - Encyclopedia Information
Official name Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Formation 1975 / 1975
Capital Port Moresby
Population 6.9 million / 39 people per sq mile (15 people per sq km)
Total area 178,703 sq. miles (462,840 sq. km)
Languages Pidgin English, Papuan, English*, Motu, 800 (est.) native languages
Religions Protestant 60%, Roman Catholic 37%, Other 3%
Ethnic mix Melanesian and mixed race 100%
Government Parliamentary system
Currency Kina = 100 toea
Literacy rate 60%
Calorie consumption 2193 kilocalories
So do you know where New Britain and New Ireland are? They have had something of a Germanic flavour in the not too distant past. They used to be called New Pomerania and New Mecklenburg (and they are both still in the Bismarck Archipelago). So now do you know where they are?
OK, the fact that this is the Papua New Guinea section is probably a bit of a giveaway, but otherwise not many Brits would have a clue that they are located off the northern tip of Australia.
The Spanish claimed the archipelago as far back as the sixteenth century, but by the 1870s we had one John Moresby (hence Port Moresby, the capital) surveying the south-east coast of New Guinea and in 1884, while we took the south-east bit, the Germans took over the north-east. This, as you have probably guessed by now, is when New Britain and New Ireland picked up their Germanic alter egos.
In 1914, Australian troops invaded the German-controlled bit and took it over. There was bitter fighting here in the Second World War between Japanese and Australian forces Papua New Guinea became fully independent in September 1975.