Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania that comprises the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. It is the world's third largest island country with an area of 462,840 km².
At the national level, after being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975. This followed nearly 60 years of Australian administration, which started during World War I. It became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1975 with Elizabeth II as its queen. It also became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in its own right.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. As of 2019, it is also the most rural, as only 13.25% of its people live in urban centres. There are 851 known languages in the country, of which 11 now have no known speakers. Most of the population of more than 8,000,000 people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages. The country is one of the world's least explored, culturally and geographically.