The Independent State of Papua New Guinea consists of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and many island groups.
The western half of the island of New Guinea is part of the country of Indonesia.
The entire island of New Guinea is the second largest island in the world, after Greenland.
Papua New Guinea has an area of 178,704 square miles (462,840 square kilometers).
The capital of Papua New Guinea is Port Moresby.
Southern Papua New Guinea is part of the Indo-Australian continental plate. The island of New Guinea was connected to mainland Australia until around 8,000 years ago, when the Torres strait was flooded.
The margins of the Indo-Australian plates and Pacific Plates run through the Papua New Guinea. The collision of these plates has resulted in volcanic activity.
Papua New Guinea's southern and northern coasts have swampy lowland plains with rich, fertile soil.
The interior of New Guinea is covered in forests and mountains. The soil in the interior is thin.
Papua New Guinea's river tend to be short, but they carry large amounts of sediment. the sediment is produced as a result of soil erosion, which is encourage by steep mountain slopes, heavy rains, mine and road operations, and slash and burn agriculture.
The Sepik River in northern Papua New Guinea is the longest river on the island of New Guinea. It is 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) long. The Sepik river drains the lowlands that lie north of Central mountain region. It flows eastward and then empties into the Bismarck Sea, in the northeast.
Mount Wilhelm, in the Bismarck Mountains, is the highest mountain in Papua New Guinea and in all of Oceania. Located in central Papua New Guinea, Mount Wilhelm is 17,794 feet (4,509 meters) high.
Some of the highest mountains in Papua New Guinea, including Mount Victoria, can be found in the Owen Stanley range. Mount Victoria is 12,200 feet (4.035 meters) high.
Papua New Guinea's outlying islands include New Britain, New Ireland and Bougainville Island. These, and most of the other outlying islands are of volcanic origin.
The Louisiade Archipelago is made up of 10 volcanic islands and many coral islets. The largest island in the Louisiade Archipelago is Tagula Island.
Papua New Guinea has a tropical monsoon climate.
6,732,000 people live in Papua New Guinea.
English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu are official languages. Over 800 native languages are spoken.
60% of the people are Protestant and 37% are Roman Catholic.
Most of the workforce is involved in agriculture.
Important crops include coffee, cocoa and copra.
Timber is a major export.
Most export income comes from minerals, mostly gold and copper.
Gold and copper reserves can be found in the Star Mountains in the west, along the border with Indonesia.
The country is dependent of foreign aid.
Papua New Guinea has a parliamentary system of government.
It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The kina is the official currency of Papua New Guinea. It is made up of 100 toea.