Estimating the Population of Papua New Guinea in 2020

15 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2021 Last revised: 13 Apr 2022

See all articles by R. Michael Bourke

R. Michael Bourke

ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, The Australian National University

Bryant Allen

ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, The Australian National University

Date Written: January 20, 2021

Abstract

The present national population of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is not known. There is no official estimate of the population of the country in 2020 and figures by others are usually between 8 and 9 million people. Our purpose is to make estimates of the likely range of population more readily available. We generate estimates of the PNG population in 2020, using the 2000 base-year population and three growth rates from different inter-census periods. We conclude that the estimated population in PNG in mid-2020 was likely to be between 8.8 and 9.6 million people, with a caveat that reliable census data may have revealed a different total population. We also generate projections of provincial populations in mid-2020, and present data on the population of the 27 urban centres that had more than 4,000 people in the 2011 census. Finally, we offer some suggestions for the next national census.

(This paper was slightly revised on 29 January 2021 and 14 July 2021)

Keywords: Population Estimates, Papua New Guinea, National Census, Population Growth Rates, Urban Population

JEL Classification: J1, J11, O2

Suggested Citation

Bourke, R. Michael and Allen, Bryant, Estimating the Population of Papua New Guinea in 2020 (January 20, 2021). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 90, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3770356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3770356

R. Michael Bourke (Contact Author)

ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, The Australian National University

Australia

Bryant Allen

ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, The Australian National University

Australia

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