Port Moresby Population 2018

Port Moresby is a city located in Papua New Guinea. The city, which is also known as Moresby or Pom City, is the one of the largest in the South Pacific. It is an important center of trade, and in recent years has seen significant population growth. According to the most recent census, the population of the city is just over 400,000 people.

Port Moresby Demographics

There are a variety of ethnic groups that call Port Moresby home. These groups include Papuans, Negritos, Micronesians, Melanesians, and Polynesians.

The primary religion of the area is Protestant, making up approximately 70% of the population. This is broken down across groups including Evangelical Lutherans, United Church, Pentecostal, Anglican, Baptists, and more.

The languages of Tok Pisin, English and Hiri Motu are spoken in Port Moresby. There are a large group of children through age 14, as well as a large group of people in the 25 to 54 demographics.

Port Moresby History

Since its early days, Port Moresby has always been a spot designated for trade. The Motuan people would trade sago and pots for canoe logs and food.

John Moresby was the first European to arrive at Port Moresby. In the late 1800s, he claimed the land for the British. Later, Queensland tried to annex the southeastern corner of New Guinea Island, but this was not approved by the British. A protectorate over Papua as British New Guinea was established a few years later.

In the early 1900s, the Papua Act transferred Papua and Port Moresby to Australians. It was during this time that the city began to grow. Port facilities were improved, grocery stores and butcher shops were opened, and electricity was brought to the city.

During the 1940s, the city also became an important area for Allied bases during World War II. It was also during the 1940s that the Territory of Papua and New Guinea was combined and Port Moresby was named as capital.

It was during the 1970s that Papua New Guinea gained its independence. Government buildings, businesses, and cultural buildings were built as a result. Once the city gained its independence, the population grew significantly, climbing from 120,000 in 1980 to almost 200,000 during the 1990s.

Port Moresby Population Growth

In recent years, Port Moresby has seen impressive growth. Between 2000 and 2011, the city had an annual growth rate of 2.1%. Today, the growth rate averages about 1.78%, bringing steady growth to the city through the years ahead.

Port Moresby Population in 2018Source: Stephen Codrington [CC BY 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Port Moresby Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
2035602,6183.64%98,633
2030503,9853.14%72,082
2025431,9032.46%49,387
2020382,5162.11%15,654
2018366,8622.06%21,814
2015345,0482.06%33,503
2010311,5452.06%30,219
2005281,3262.06%27,314
2000254,0122.66%31,212
1995222,8002.67%27,481
1990195,3194.79%40,756
1985154,5634.82%32,391
1980122,1725.35%28,021
197594,1516.79%26,350
197067,80111.34%28,183
196539,6186.36%10,515
196029,1036.37%7,728
195521,3756.37%5,675
195015,7000.00%
Port Moresby Population Growth

Port Moresby's 2018 population is now estimated at 366,862. In 1950, the population of Port Moresby was 15,700. Port Moresby has grown by 21,814 since 2015, which represents a 2.06% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Port Moresby, which typically includes Port Moresby's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations