BY KEITH JACKSON
WHEN A COUNTRY has an annual population growth rate of three percent, it doubles in size every 20 years.
And while PNG’s growth rate is a touch lower at 2.7 percent, the influx of migrants, especially from Asian countries, is taking it close to this benchmark.
Between now and the end of this year, PNG’s population is estimated to pass seven million, a number that adds statistical weight to add to the growing economic power to Australia’s north.
Meanwhile, even as the country cries out for skilled labour, more and more Papua New Guineans are heading off to work overseas in what could become a debilitating ‘brain drain’ for the country.
Some 20% of Papua New Guinean tertiary graduates live overseas.
It’s a loss that isn't really balanced by remittances, although the average Papua New Guinean sends home $7,232 each year.