Papua New Guinea
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UNFPA releases population projections

The population of Papua New Guinea is expected to reach 20 million by 2045 and exceed 21 million by 2050.

This is according to the National Statistical Office (NSO) and United Nations Population Fund population projections for PNG, providing national and provincial population counts through to 2050 by age and sex.

The figures are based on the 2021 population modelled estimates which placed the population at 11.78 million. These figures can support in planning for the future needs of the country.

Using mortality, fertility, and migration data from the National Population and Housing Census 2011, the Demographic and Health Survey 2006 and 2016-18, and the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey 2022, the team at the NSO calculated an estimate of the national and provincial level population by age and sex through to 2050.

According to the new figures, life expectancy at birth in PNG is expected to increase from 70.50 years in 2023 to 78 years in 2050 for men, and from 72.87 years to 80 years for women.

Coupled with decreasing fertility rates, the age-dependency ratio is projected to decrease from 70 dependents for every 100 economically active population in 2021, to 52 dependents in 2050.

These projections provide an estimate of the composition of the population over the next 25 years. They are a tool for planning for health, education, and services, to ensure that services grow to meet the needs of the growing - and aging - population.

For example, as people live longer, services must be inclusive and accessible to older persons and health systems should provide specialists for age-related health concerns.

With these new projections, planners are able to utilise the latest data to inform the implementation of national and sub-national development plans for their communities.

The Population Data Project is made possible with funding from the Australian Government.