Papua New Guinea is divided into four regions, which are its broadest administrative divisions of Papua New Guinea. While the 22 provincial-level divisions are the primary administrative divisions of PNG, the regions are quite significant in daily life, as they are often the basis for organisation of government services (such as police), corporate operations, sporting competitions, and even the machinations of politics.


For instance, there has been much discussion over the years of how many prime ministers have come from each region, and whether a particular region is due to provide the next one. Ministers and departmental heads are often appointed with an eye to maintaining an overall balance between the regions.


People generally identify quite strongly with their region, and inter-region rivalries can be intense.

There are four regions, each of which comprises a number of provinces:

Momase is a recently devised portmanteau word which combines the first two letters of Morobe, Madang, and Sepik.

Region Largest city Population
(2011 census)
Highlands Region Mount Hagen 2,854,874 62,400 46
Niugini Islands Region Arawa 1,096,543 56,602 19
Momase Region Lae 1,867,657 142,600 13
Southern Region Port Moresby 1,456,250 202,542 7.2

See also