Papua New Guinea - Rural population (% of total population)

Rural population (% of total population) in Papua New Guinea was 86.66 as of 2020. Its highest value over the past 60 years was 96.28 in 1960, while its lowest value was 85.01 in 1990.

Definition: Rural population refers to people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the difference between total population and urban population.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects: 2018 Revision.

See also:

Year Value
1960 96.28
1961 95.98
1962 95.65
1963 95.31
1964 94.93
1965 94.53
1966 94.10
1967 93.29
1968 92.38
1969 91.35
1970 90.20
1971 88.92
1972 88.70
1973 88.49
1974 88.28
1975 88.07
1976 87.85
1977 87.63
1978 87.41
1979 87.18
1980 86.95
1981 86.76
1982 86.57
1983 86.38
1984 86.19
1985 86.00
1986 85.81
1987 85.61
1988 85.41
1989 85.21
1990 85.01
1991 85.18
1992 85.37
1993 85.56
1994 85.74
1995 85.92
1996 86.10
1997 86.28
1998 86.45
1999 86.63
2000 86.80
2001 86.82
2002 86.84
2003 86.85
2004 86.87
2005 86.89
2006 86.91
2007 86.93
2008 86.95
2009 86.96
2010 86.98
2011 87.00
2012 87.02
2013 87.02
2014 87.01
2015 86.99
2016 86.95
2017 86.90
2018 86.83
2019 86.75
2020 86.66

Development Relevance: The rural population is calculated using the urban share reported by the United Nations Population Division. There is no universal standard for distinguishing rural from urban areas, and any urban-rural dichotomy is an oversimplification. The two distinct images - isolated farm, thriving metropolis - represent poles on a continuum. Life changes along a variety of dimensions, moving from the most remote forest outpost through fields and pastures, past tiny hamlets, through small towns with weekly farm markets, into intensively cultivated areas near large towns and small cities, eventually reaching the center of a megacity. Along the way access to infrastructure, social services, and nonfarm employment increase, and with them population density and income. A 2005 World Bank Policy Research Paper proposes an operational definition of rurality based on population density and distance to large cities (Chomitz, Buys, and Thomas 2005). The report argues that these criteria are important gradients along which economic behavior and appropriate development interventions vary substantially. Where population densities are low, markets of all kinds are thin, and the unit cost of delivering most social services and many types of infrastructure is high. Where large urban areas are distant, farm-gate or factory-gate prices of outputs will be low and input prices will be high, and it will be difficult to recruit skilled people to public service or private enterprises. Thus, low population density and remoteness together define a set of rural areas that face special development challenges. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Rural population methodology is defined by various national statistical offices. In the United States, for example, the US Census Bureau's urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying both individual urban areas and the rural areas of the nation. "Rural" encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Rural population is calculated as the difference between the total population and the urban population. Rural population is approximated as the midyear nonurban population. While a practical means of identifying the rural population, it is not a precise measure. The United Nations Population Division and other agencies provide current population estimates for developing countries that lack recent census data and pre- and post-census estimates for countries with census data.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual


Topic: Environment Indicators

Sub-Topic: Density & urbanization