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  Introduction Back To Top

The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they established a huge Eurasian empire through conquest. 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 in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing and a Communist regime was installed in 1924. The modern country of Mongolia, however, represents only part of the Mongols' historical homeland; more Mongols live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China than in Mongolia. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. The MPRP won an overwhelming majority in the 2000 parliamentary election, but the party lost seats in the 2004 election and shared power with democratic coalition parties from 2004-2008. The MPRP regained a solid majority in the 2008 parliamentary elections; the prime minister and a majority of cabinet members are currently MPRP members.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
per capita: 166 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
34.8 cu km (1999)

Land boundaries:
total: 8,220 km
border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km

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, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
46 00 N, 105 00 E

Natural resources:
oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Hoh Nuur 518 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m

vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central

Geography - note:
landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia

total: 1,564,116 sq km
land: 1,554,731 sq km
water: 9,385 sq km

Northern Asia, between China and Russia

0 km (landlocked)

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Alaska

Irrigated land:
840 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; the policies of former Communist regimes promoted rapid urbanization and industrial growth that had negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, and the converting of virgin land to agricultural production increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities had a deleterious effect on the environment

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:
dust storms, grassland and forest fires, drought, and "zud," which is harsh winter conditions

Land use:
arable land: 0.76%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.24% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.24 children born/woman (2008 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: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 500 (2003 est)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.32 years
male: 64.92 years
female: 69.84 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98%
female: 97.5% (2000 census)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)

Median age:
total: 24.9 years
male: 24.6 years
female: 25.3 years (2008 est.)

2,996,081 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
5% of GDP (2004)

Population growth rate:
1.493% (2008 est.)

Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)

Death rate:
6.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 41.24 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 44.41 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 37.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.4% (male 433,835/female 416,549)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 1,013,215/female 1,015,221)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 51,093/female 66,168) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
21.09 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4%, none 40% (2004)

noun: Mongolian(s)
adjective: Mongolian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mark C. MINTON
embassy: Big Ring Road, 11th Micro Region, Ulaanbaatar
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 300, FPO AP 96521-0002; P.O. Box 1021, Ulaanbaatar-13
telephone: [976] (11) 329-095
FAX: [976] (11) 320-776

National holiday:
Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
mixed parliamentary/presidential

Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: human rights groups; women's groups

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Khasbazaryn BEKHBAT
chancery: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7117
FAX: [1] (202) 298-9227

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral State Great Hural 76 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms
elections: last held 29 June 2008 (next to be held in June 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPRP 44, DP 26, others 2; note - 4 seats disputed and unfilled

Legal system:
blend of Soviet, German, and US systems that combine "continental" or "civil" code and case-precedent; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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)

11 July 1921 (from China)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Mongolia
local long form: none
local short form: Mongol Uls
former: Outer Mongolia

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party or DP [Norov ALTANHUYAG]; Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Sanjaa BAYAR]

name: Ulaanbaatar
geographic coordinates: 47 55 N, 106 55 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

12 February 1992

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR (since 24 June 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Sanjaa BAYAR (since 22 November 2007); First Deputy Prime Minister (Norov ALTANKHUYAG (since 20 September 2008); Vice Prime Minister Miegombyn ENKHBOLD (since 6 December 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the president and confirmed by the State Great Hural (parliament)
elections: presidential candidates nominated by political parties represented in State Great Hural and elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 22 May 2005 (next to be held in May 2009); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by State Great Hural
election results: Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR elected president; percent of vote - Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR 53.44%, Mendsaikhanin ENKHSAIKHAN 20.05%, Bazarsadyn JARGALSAIKHAN 13.92%, Badarchyn ERDENEBAT 12.59%; Miegombyn ENKHBOLD elected prime minister by the State Great Hural

Administrative divisions:
21 provinces (aymguud, singular - aymag) and 1 municipality* (singular - hot); Arhangay, Bayanhongor, Bayan-Olgiy, Bulgan, Darhan-Uul, Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Dzavhan, Govi-Altay, Govisumber, Hentiy, Hovd, Hovsgol, Omnogovi, Orhon, Ovorhangay, Selenge, Suhbaatar, Tov, Ulaanbaatar*, Uvs

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 and approved by the president)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
China 71.9%, Canada 10.7%, US 4.8% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
2.638 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
9.87% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
195 million kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$23 million (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.438 billion (2007)

Unemployment rate:
2.8% (2007)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$3,300 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.191 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$9.792 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.991 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
32.8 (2002)

Exchange rates:
togrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar - 1,170 (2007), 1,165 (2006), 1,205 (2005), 1,185.3 (2004), 1,146.5 (2003)

GDP - real growth rate:
9.9% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$504.7 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
1.052 million (2007)

Imports - partners:
China 32%, Russia 29.4%, South Korea 7.9%, Japan 7.2% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 20.6%
industry: 38.4%
services: 41% (2007)

Oil - imports:
12,630 bbl/day (2005 est.)

$1.949 billion f.o.b. (2007)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
togrog/tugrik (MNT)

Economy - overview:
Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits. Copper, coal, gold, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten account for a large part of industrial production and foreign direct investment. Soviet assistance, at its height one-third of GDP, disappeared almost overnight in 1990 and 1991 at the time of the dismantlement of the USSR. The following decade saw Mongolia endure both deep recession because of political inaction and natural disasters, as well as economic growth because of reform-embracing, free-market economics and extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy. Severe winters and summer droughts in 2000-02 resulted in massive livestock die-off and zero or negative GDP growth. This was compounded by falling prices for Mongolia's primary sector exports and widespread opposition to privatization. Growth averaged nearly 9% per year in 2004-08, largely because of high copper prices and new gold production. Mongolia is experiencing its highest inflation rate in over a decade as consumer prices in 2007 rose 15%, largely because of increased fuel and food costs, but the rate subsided to 9% in 2008. Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbors. For example, Mongolia purchases 95% of its petroleum products and a substantial amount of electric power from Russia, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. Trade with China represents more than half of Mongolia's total external trade - China receives about 70% of Mongolia's exports. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizable, and money laundering is a growing concern. Mongolia settled its $11 billion debt with Russia at the end of 2003 on favorable terms. Mongolia, which joined the World Trade Organization in 1997, seeks to expand its participation and integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea

construction and construction materials; mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, tin, tungsten, and gold); oil; food and beverages; processing of animal products, cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
36.1% (2004)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
17.54% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$1.81 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
3.078 billion kWh (2007 est.)

$2.117 billion c.i.f. (2007)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 37.7%
industry: 12.9%
services: 49.4% (2007)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
12,860 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$612.2 million (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 24.6% (2002)

Exports - commodities:
copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals

Economic aid - recipient:
$159.5 million (2006)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $1.58 billion
expenditures: $1.497 billion (2007)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
320,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
158,900 (2006)

168,800 (1999)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 7, FM 115 (includes 20 National radio broadcaster repeaters), shortwave 4 (2006)

155,900 (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
775,300 (2006)

Television broadcast stations:
456 (including provincial and low-power repeaters) (2006)

Telephone system:
general assessment: network is improving with international direct dialing available in many areas
domestic: very low fixed-line density; there are multiple mobile cellular service providers and subscribership is increasing rapidly; a fiber-optic network is also being installed that will improve broadband and communication services between major urban centers
international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2001)

Internet hosts:
356 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

580 km
note: only waterway in operation is Lake Hovsgol (135 km); Selenge River (270 km) and Orhon River (175 km) are navigable but carry little traffic; lakes and rivers freeze in winter, are open from May to September (2007)

total: 1,810 km
broad gauge: 1,810 km 1.524-m gauge (2006)

1 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 77
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 44, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 6, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 53 (China 1, Germany 4, Indonesia 1, North Korea 1, South Korea 1, Lebanon 2, Russia 9, Singapore 9, Thailand 1, Ukraine 1, Vietnam 23) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 13
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2007)

total: 49,250 km
paved: 1,724 km
unpaved: 47,526 km (2002)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 31
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

44 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18-25 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months in land or air defense forces or police; a small portion of Mongolian land forces (2.5 percent) is comprised of contract soldiers; women cannot be deployed overseas for military operations (2006)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 865,425
females age 16-49: 860,669 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 696,652
females age 16-49: 731,480 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Mongolian Armed Forces: Mongolian Army, Mongolian Air Force; there is no navy (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 29,990
female: 29,256 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.4% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:

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