|Regions with significant populations|
| Papua New Guinea
Indonesia: 2,693,630 (2010 census)
(West Papua (region) and Maluku Islands)
Trans–New Guinea languages
|Christianity (Protestantism, Roman Catholicism)
|Related ethnic groups|
Papuan people are the various indigenous peoples of New Guinea and neighbouring islands, speakers of the Papuan languages. They are often distinguished ethnically and linguistically from Austronesians, speakers of a language family introduced into New Guinea about three thousand years ago.
In a 2005 study of ASPM gene variants, Mekel-Bobrov et al. found that the Papuan people have among the highest rate of the newly evolved ASPM haplogroup D, at 59.4% occurrence of the approximately 6,000-year-old allele. While it is not yet known exactly what selective advantage is provided by this gene variant, the haplogroup D allele is thought to be positively selected in populations and to confer some substantial advantage that has caused its frequency to rapidly increase.
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