29 Jan 2014

Academic says PNG's population growth rate 'extraordinarily high'

10:18 am on 29 January 2014

An Australian academic says Papua New Guinea's current population growth rate is extraordinarily high and has serious implications for the country.

The government has released census data from 2011, which reveals at that stage the country's population had reached 7.3 million.

The population is now estimated to be about 7.8 million, with a growth rate of 3.1 percent.

A Melanesian expert at the Australia National University, Ron May, says such a high rate of growth could pose problems.

"In some parts of the country, there are already pressures on land. The high rate of population growth is also putting a lot of pressure on the education system, the health system, not to mention urban housing and so on. It's got quite serious implications."

Ron May says the Government, churches and NGOs all have a role to play in population policy.