2021 Estimated Statistics


Welcome to Southern Highlands Provincial Website. Southern Highlands Province (SHP) in Papua New Guinea covers an area of 15,089 square kilometers and has a population of 509,488, making it the country’s third most populous province. It shares administrative boundaries with several provinces and is accessible by air and road. The province benefits from a good road network, including the Highlands Highway, connecting it to other provinces and coastal towns. However, SHP faces challenges such as rugged terrains, deteriorating infrastructure, insufficient bankable land, high transport costs, and governance and law enforcement issues. Efforts are being made to address these challenges and improve infrastructure, governance, and economic growth in the province.

Despite its challenges, SHP holds potential for development and growth. Investment in infrastructure and addressing governance and law enforcement issues are crucial for overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for its residents. The province’s strategic location and existing road networks provide opportunities for trade and economic activities. With continued investment and focused efforts, SHP contributes to the overall progress and development of Papua New Guinea.

Southern Highlands Province (SHP) in Papua New Guinea is divided into five districts: Ialibu-Pangia, Imbonggu, Kagua-Erave, Mendi-Munihu, and Nipa-Kutubu. Each district has its own development status and economic conditions. Ialibu-Pangia is relatively more developed, with well-established municipal services and infrastructure. Imbonggu and Kagua-Erave districts have varying levels of development, with some areas facing infrastructure challenges. Mendi-Munihu district has relatively better development, benefiting from a good road network and key government facilities.

Southern Highlands Province’s economy is largely smallholder-based agriculture, including some commercial production of fresh produce, coffee, poultry, and inland fish farming. Gas and oil are extracted at Kutubu.

There is potential for developing the production of hemp, grains and rice farming, livestock, eco-tourism, and hydro energy, and forest resources provide opportunities for carbon trade or development. SHP also has huge deposits of limestone resources.