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Flag of Mongolia
Map of Mongolia
Introduction Mongolia
The Mongols entered history in the 13th century when under GENGHIS KHAN they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. During the early 1990s, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) gradually yielded its monopoly on power to the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC), which defeated the MPRP in a national election in 1996. Over the next four years the DUC put forward a number of key reforms to modernize the economy and democratize the political system. However, the former Communists were a strong opposition that stalled additional restructuring and made implementation difficult. In 2000, the MPRP won an overwhelming victory in the legislature - with 72 of the 76 seats - and completely reshuffled the government. While it continues many of the reform policies, the MPRP is focusing on social welfare and public order priorities.
Geography Mongolia
Northern Asia, between China and Russia
Geographic coordinates:
46 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:
total: 1.565 million sq km
water: 9,600 sq km
land: 1,555,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries:
total: 8,162 km
border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,485 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Hoh Nuur 518 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
Natural resources:
oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, wolfram, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron, phosphate
Land use:
arable land: 0.84%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.16% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
840 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
dust storms, grassland and forest fires, drought, and "zud", which is harsh winter conditions
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; policies of the former Communist regime promoting rapid urbanization and industrial growth have raised concerns about their negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws have severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, the converting of virgin land to agricultural production have increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities have also had a deleterious effect on the environment
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia
People Mongolia
2,694,432 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32% (male 438,176; female 422,960)
15-64 years: 64.1% (male 864,033; female 865,172)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 45,080; female 59,011) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.48% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
21.8 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
7.01 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
51.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.62 years
female: 66.87 years (2002 est.)
male: 62.47 years
Total fertility rate:
2.37 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Mongolian(s)
adjective: Mongolian
Ethnic groups:
Mongol (predominantly Khalkha) 85%, Turkic (of which Kazakh is the largest group) 7%, Tungusic 4.6%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 3.4% (1998)
Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism 96%, Muslim (primarily in the southwest), Shamanism, and Christian 4% (1998)
Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98%
female: 97.5% (2000)
Government Mongolia
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Mongolia
local short form: Mongol Uls
former: Outer Mongolia
local long form: none
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
21 provinces (aymguud, singular - aymag) and 1 municipality* (hot); Arhangay, Bayanhongor, Bayan-Olgiy, Bulgan, Darhan Uul, Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Dzavhan, Govi-Altay, Govi-Sumber, Hentiy, Hovd, Hovsgol, Omnogovi, Orhon, Ovorhangay, Selenge, Suhbaatar, Tov, Ulaanbaatar*, Uvs
11 July 1921 (from China)
National holiday:
Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)
12 February 1992
Legal system:
blend of Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Western systems of law that combines aspects of a parliamentary system with some aspects of a presidential system; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Natsagiyn BAGABANDI (since 20 June 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR (since 26 July 2000)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the State Great Hural in consultation with the president
elections: president nominated by parties in the State Great Hural and elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 20 May 2001 (next to be held NA May 2005); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the State Great Hural; election last held 2 July 2000 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: Natsagiyn BAGABANDI reelected president; percent of vote - Natsagiyn BAGABANDI (MPRP) 58.13%, Radnaasumbereliyn GONCHIGDORJ (DP) 36.58%, Luvsandamba DASHNYAM (CWP) 3.54%, other 1.75%; Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR elected prime minister by a vote in the State Great Hural of 68 to 3
Legislative branch:
unicameral State Great Hural (76 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 2 July 2000 (next to be held NA July 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - MPRP 72, other 4
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (serves as appeals court for people's and provincial courts, but rarely overturns verdicts of lower courts; judges are nominated by the General Council of Courts for approval by the president)
Political parties and leaders:
Citizens' Will Party or CWP (also called Civil Will Party or Civil Courage Party) [Sanjaasurengyn OYUN]; Democratic Party or DP [D. DORLIGJAN]; Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR]; Mongolian New Socialist Democratic Party or MNSDP [B. ERDENEBAT]; Mongolian Republican Party or MRP [B. JARGALSAIHAN]
note: the MPRP is the ruling party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (observer), CCC, CP (provisional), EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jalbuugiyn CHOINHOR
chancery: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 298-9227
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7117
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John DINGER
embassy: inner northeast part of the Big Ring Road, just west of the Selbe Gol, Ulaanbaatar
mailing address: United States Embassy in Mongolia, P. O. Box 1021, Ulaanbaatar 13; PSC 461, Box 300, FPO AP 96521-0002
telephone: [976] (11) 329095
FAX: [976] (11) 320776
Flag description:
three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), blue, and red; centered on the hoist-side red band in yellow is the national emblem ("soyombo" - a columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric representation for fire, sun, moon, earth, water, and the yin-yang symbol)
Economy Mongolia
Economy - overview:
Economic activity traditionally has been based on agriculture and breeding of livestock. Mongolia also has extensive mineral deposits: copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production. Soviet assistance, at its height one-third of GDP, disappeared almost overnight in 1990-91, at the time of the dismantlement of the USSR. Mongolia was driven into deep recession, prolonged by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party's (MPRP) reluctance to undertake serious economic reform. The Democratic Coalition (DC) government has embraced free-market economics, easing price controls, liberalizing domestic and international trade, and attempting to restructure the banking system and the energy sector. Major domestic privatization programs were undertaken, as well as the fostering of foreign investment through international tender of the oil distribution company, a leading cashmere company, and banks. Reform was held back by the ex-Communist MPRP opposition and by the political instability brought about through four successive governments under the DC. Economic growth picked up in 1997-99 after stalling in 1996 due to a series of natural disasters and declines in world prices of copper and cashmere. In August and September 1999, the economy suffered from a temporary Russian ban on exports of oil and oil products, and Mongolia remains vulnerable in this sector. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization (WTrO) in 1997. The international donor community pledged over $300 million per year at the last Consultative Group Meeting, held in Ulaanbaatar in June 1999. The MPRP government, elected in July 2000, is anxious to improve the investment climate; it must also deal with a heavy burden of external debt. Falling prices for Mongolia's mainly primary sector exports, widespread opposition to privatization, and adverse effects of weather on agriculture in early 2000 and 2001 restrained real GDP growth in 2000-01.
purchasing power parity - $4.7 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,770 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 32%
industry: 30%
services: 38% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
36% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 25% (1995) (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
33 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
11.8% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
1.4 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
primarily herding/agricultural
Unemployment rate:
20% (2000)
revenues: $262 million
expenditures: $328 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
construction materials, mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, and gold); oil; food and beverages, processing of animal products
Industrial production growth rate:
2.4% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
2.77 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
2.732 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
25 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
181 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, potatoes, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses
$466.1 million f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities:
copper, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals
Exports - partners:
China 59%, US 20%, Russia 10%, Japan 2% (2000)
$614.5 million c.i.f. (2000)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuels, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea
Imports - partners:
Russia 34%, China 21%, Japan 12%, South Korea 9%, US 4% (2000)
Debt - external:
$760 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$208.7 million (1999 est.)
togrog/tugrik (MNT)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
togrogs/tugriks per US dollar - 1,101.29 (December 2001), 1,097.70 (2001), 1,076.67 (2000), 1,072.37 (1999), 840.83 (1998), 789.99 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Mongolia
Telephones - main lines in use:
104,100 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
110,000 (2001)
Telephone system:
general assessment: very low density: about 3.5 telephones for each thousand persons
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 7, FM 9, shortwave 4 (2001)
155,900 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (plus 18 provincial repeaters and many low powered repeaters) (1999)
168,800 (1999)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2001)
Internet users:
40,000 (2002)
Transportation Mongolia
1,815 km
broad gauge: 1,815 km 1.524-m gauge (2001)
total: 3,387 km
paved: 1,563 km
note: there are also 45,862 km of rural roads that consist of rough, unimproved, cross-country tracks (2000)
unpaved: 1,824 km
400 km (1999)
Ports and harbors:
34 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 26
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 5 (2002)
Military Mongolia
Military branches:
Mongolian Armed Forces (includes General Purpose Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Civil Defense Troops); note - Border Troops are under Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs in peacetime
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 772,619 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 501,493 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 30,230 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$24.3 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.5% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Mongolia
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003