27 Jan 2014

PNG government grappling with strong population growth

6:29 pm on 27 January 2014

Papua New Guinea's government is taking steps to accommodate a rapidly-rising population amid fears it is growing at an unsustainable rate.

The government has only just released census data from 2011, which reveals at that stage the country's population had reached 7.3 million.

The population is now estimated to be about 7.8 million.

Our correspondent, Todagia Kelola, says the rising population could pose problems by putting pressure on infrastructure as well as health, education and social services.

"The government is fearful that it might blow out of control - that the government with its resources cannot match the fast rate of population but according to the planning minister the 3.1 percent growth rate is managable at this point in time."

Todagia Kelola says the government has indicated it will form a committee to address population issues and plan for the future.