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This will allow scholarly writers to cite actual page numbers in the printed book for quoted material, as well as its availability on the Web and the URL if desired. The Indonesian province of Irian Jaya occupies the islands western half.To the east are the Melanesian and Solomon Islands and the Coral Sea.Only 1% to 2% of the people speak English, the official language, but Tok Pigin English is widely spoken.Only 15% of Papuans live in the few cities, about a quarter of a million in the administrative center of Port Moresby.Two major rivers, the Sepik and the Fly, are navigable to shallow-draft vessels.In the past, the very rugged topography of Papua New Guinea made communication and movement from one place to the next very difficult.In July 2002, Papua New Guinea had an estimated population of 5.17 million.
In 1884, Germany declared the northern coast a German protectorate. Both nations then formally annexed their protectorates.New Guinea, the worlds second-largest island, was settled many thousands of years ago by waves of Papuans and Melanesian migrants.These many waves of immigration developed into hundreds of diverse, mutually hostile tribes of hunters and small cultivators, each with their own language.In February 1990, guerrillas of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) attacked plantations, forcing the evacuation of numerous workers.
In May, the BRA declared Bougainvilles independence, triggering a government blockade of the island until a peace treaty was signed in January 1991.Experts project that if the high rates of fertility persist, the population will double by the year 2020.