Western Province (WP), the largest province, covers 99,300 square kilometers of country. There are mountains in the north of the province, but most of it is low-lying with a seasonal alternation of inundation and drought. It is the most sparsely populated of the provinces and the one with the most serious health problems caused by malnutrition as well as endemic diseases. The population rose from 78,600 in 1980 to 108,700 in 1990, and to 201,351 in 2011. Over 50 languages are spoken. The Constitution, adopted in 1977, provides for a House of Assembly of 24 elected, and three appointed, members. There are five districts and the headquarters is on the off-shore island of Daru. Most attempts to produce coffee, copra and rubber have been unsuccessful. The main product is copper produced by the Ok Tedi mine. Timber and fish are also exported.
Goroka is the administrative headquarters for the Eastern Highlands Province and it is located on the Okuk Highlands Highway. Goroka is a thriving busy city with its formal sector enjoying a wide range of urban services and amenities. The city attracts overseas and local tourists to its world re-known Goroka Show and Goroka Coffee Festival. Goroka City like other Melanesian cities exhibits a common feature of formally laid out modern patterns of urban development that are surrounded by informal and uncontrolled informal settlements development.
After the destruction of Rabaul Town by the volcanic eruptions in 1994, Kokopo is now the main administrative, commercial and educational centre for PNG’s East New Britain province and the New Guinea Islands region. It has grown rapidly over the last 13 years from a small district town to becoming the fourth largest city in the country. It has a population of approximately 23,000 people (both urban and rural). The relocation to Kokopo saw a boom in the construction industry and together with the restoration program funded by the World Bank; investment has surpassed what had originally been in Rabaul.
Port Moresby is the capital city of PNG and is the main administrative, commercial and education centre of the country. It has a population of a little over 400,000 with an average density of 16 persons per hectare. It developed based on its historical and strategic considerations. The main economic activities in Port Moresby are in the service industry. The unemployment rate in Port Moresby is high with more than 50% of the
unemployed in settlements and urban villages. Most of these people participate in some form of informal sector activities.