Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under 7 million. It is also one of the most rural, with only 18% of its people living in urban centres.
Papua New Guinea is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands.
The majority of the population lives in traditional societies and practice subsistence-based agriculture.
The country's geography is diverse and, in places, extremely rugged. A spine of mountains, the New Guinea Highlands, runs the length of the island of New Guinea, forming a populous highlands region mostly covered with tropical rainforest.
Papua New Guinea is one of the few regions close to the equator that experience snowfall, which occurs in the most elevated parts of the mainland.