Port Moresby is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the southeastern coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea. The city emerged as a trade centre in second half of the 19th century. During World War II it was a prime objective for conquest by the Imperial Japanese forces during 1942–43 as a staging point and air base to cut off Australia from Southeast Asia and the Americas.
In 2000 it had a population of 254,158. As of 2011 it has a population of 364,145, giving it an annual growth rate of 2.1% over a nine-year period. The place where the city was founded has been inhabited by the Motu-Koitabu people for centuries. The first European to see it was Captain John Moresby in 1873. It was named in honour of his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby.
According to a survey of world cities by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, Port Moresby is one of the world's least livable cities (ranked 139 of 140 cities rated).
Although Port Moresby is surrounded by Central Province, of which it is also the capital, it is not part of that province, but forms the National Capital District.