Mongolia

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Mongolia
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Location of Mongolia
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OF MONGOLIA
 

Introduction

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The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAAN 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 ethnic Mongolians 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 2004-08. The MPRP regained a solid majority in the 2008 parliamentary elections but nevertheless formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party. In 2010 the MPRP voted to retake the name of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), a name it used in the early 1920s. The prime minister and most cabinet members are MPP members.
 
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Geography

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Northern Asia, between China and Russia
 
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46 00 N, 105 00 E
 
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total: 1,564,116 sq km
country comparison to the world: 19
land: 1,553,556 sq km
water: 10,560 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than Alaska
 
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total: 8,220 km
border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km
 
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0 km (landlocked)
 
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none (landlocked)
 
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desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
 
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vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
 
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lowest point: Hoh Nuur 560 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
 
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oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
 
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arable land: 0.76%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.24% (2005)
 
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840 sq km (2008)
 
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34.8 cu km (1999)
 
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total: 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
per capita: 166 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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dust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
 
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limited natural freshwater 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
 
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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
 
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landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia
 
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People and Society

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noun: Mongolian(s)
adjective: Mongolian
 
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Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)
 
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Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)
 
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Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4%, none 40% (2004)
 
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3,133,318 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
 
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0-14 years: 27.3% (male 437,241/female 419,693)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 1,074,949/female 1,076,455)
65 years and over: 4% (male 54,415/female 70,565) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 26.2 years
male: 25.8 years
female: 26.6 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.489% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
 
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20.93 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
 
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6.04 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
 
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
 
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urban population: 62% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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ULAANBAATAR (capital) 949,000 (2009)
 
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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 (2011 est.)
 
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65 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 87
 
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total: 37.26 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 67
male: 40.26 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 68.31 years
country comparison to the world: 154
male: 65.85 years
female: 70.89 years (2011 est.)
 
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2.21 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
 
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9.3% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 39
 
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2.763 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 45
 
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5.89 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 27
 
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improved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 49% of population
total: 76% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3% of population
rural: 51% of population
total: 24% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 64% of population
rural: 32% of population
total: 50% of population
unimproved:
urban: 46% of population
rural: 68% of population
total: 50% of population (2008)
 
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less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
 
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fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
 
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fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
 
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9.8% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 57
 
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5.3% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 83
 
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5.6% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 39
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98%
female: 97.5% (2000 census)
 
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total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 15 years (2009)
 
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total: 20%
country comparison to the world: 58
male: 19.5%
female: 20.7% (2003)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Mongolia
local long form: none
local short form: Mongol Uls
former: Outer Mongolia
 
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parliamentary
 
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name: Ulaanbaatar
geographic coordinates: 47 55 N, 106 55 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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21 provinces (aymguud, singular - aymag) and 1 municipality* (singular - hot); Arhangay, Bayanhongor, Bayan-Olgiy, Bulgan, Darhan-Uul, Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Dzavhan (Zavkhan), Govi-Altay, Govisumber, Hentiy, Hovd, Hovsgol, Omnogovi, Orhon, Ovorhangay, Selenge, Suhbaatar, Tov, Ulaanbaatar*, Uvs
 
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11 July 1921 (from China)
 
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Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)
 
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13 January 1992
 
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civil law system influenced by Soviet and Romano-Germanic legal systems; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ (since 18 June 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Sukhbaatar BATBOLD (since 29 October 2009); First Deputy Prime Minister (Norov ALTANKHUYAG (since 20 September 2008); Deputy 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)
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
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 on 24 May 2009 (next to be held by May 2013); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by State Great Hural
election results: in elections in May 2009, Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ elected president; percent of vote - Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ 51.2%, Nambar ENKHBAYAR 47.4%, others 1.3%
 
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unicameral State Great Hural 76 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms
elections: last held on 29 June 2008 (next to be held in June 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPP 46, DP 27, others 3
 
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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)
 
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Civil Will-Green Party or CWGP [Dangaasuren EHKHBAT]; Democratic Party or DP [Norov ALTANHUYAG]; Mongolian People's Party or MPP [Sukhbaatar BATBOLD]; Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR]
 
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other: human rights groups; women's groups
 
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ADB, ARF, CD, CICA, CP, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SCO (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Khasbazar BEKHBAT
chancery: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7117
FAX: [1] (202) 298-9227
consulate(s) general: New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Jonathan ADDLETON
embassy: Big Ring Road, 11th Micro Region, Ulaanbaatar, 14171 Mongolia
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
 
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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); blue represents the sky, red symbolizes progress and prosperity
 
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soyombo emblem
 
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name: "Mongol ulsyn toriin duulal" (National Anthem of Mongolia)
lyrics/music: Tsendiin DAMDINSUREN/Bilegiin DAMDINSUREN and Luvsanjamts MURJORJ
note: music adopted 1950, lyrics adopted 2006; the anthem's lyrics have been altered on numerous occasions
 
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Economy

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Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture - Mongolia's extensive mineral deposits, however, have attracted foreign investors. The country holds copper, gold, coal, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten deposits, which account for a large part of foreign direct investment and government revenues. 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. In 2008 Mongolia experienced a soaring inflation rate with year-to-year inflation reaching nearly 30% - the highest inflation rate in over a decade. By late 2008, as the country began to feel the effects of the global financial crisis, falling commodity prices helped lower inflation, but also reduced government revenues and forced cuts in spending. In early 2009, the International Monetary Fund reached a $236 million Stand-by Arrangement with Mongolia and the country has started to move out of the crisis. Although the banking sector remains unstable, the government is now enforcing stricter supervision regulations. In October 2009, the government passed long-awaited legislation on an investment agreement to develop Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi mine, considered to be one of the world's largest untapped copper deposits. The economy grew 6.1% in 2010, largely on the strength of exports to nearby countries, and international reserves reached $1.6 billion in September, an all time high for Mongolia. Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbors. 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 more than three-fourths of Mongolia's exports. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad are sizable, but have fallen due to the economic crisis; money laundering is a growing concern. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade regimes.
 
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$11.02 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
$10.38 billion (2009 est.)
$10.51 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$6.125 billion (2010 est.)
 
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6.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
-1.3% (2009 est.)
8.9% (2008 est.)
 
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$3,600 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
$3,400 (2009 est.)
$3,500 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 19.7%
industry: 35.1%
services: 45.2% (2010 est.)
 
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1.068 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 140
 
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agriculture: 34%
industry: 5%
services: 61% (2008)
 
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11.5% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 124
2.8% (2008)
 
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36.1% (2004)
 
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lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2008)
 
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36.5 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 85
32.8 (2002)
 
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36.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
 
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revenues: $2.205 billion
expenditures: $2.089 billion (2010 est.)
 
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36% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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1.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
 
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10.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203
6.3% (2009 est.)
 
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10.99% (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 26
10.82% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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17.9% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
20.8% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$921.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
$451.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$3.821 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
$2.047 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.973 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
$1.375 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.093 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 110
$430.2 million (31 December 2009)
$407 million (31 December 2008)
 
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wheat, barley, vegetables, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses
 
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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
 
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3% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
 
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3.896 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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3.023 billion kWh (2010)
country comparison to the world: 128
 
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20.7 million kWh (2010)
 
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214.1 million kWh (2010)
 
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0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
 
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17,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
 
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5,834 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
 
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15,730 bbl/day (2010)
country comparison to the world: 126
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
 
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0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
 
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0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
 
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11,790 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
 
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-$378.8 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
-$341.8 million (2009 est.)
 
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$2.899 billion (2010)
country comparison to the world: 123
$1.885 billion (2009 est.)
 
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copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals, coal
 
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China 84.8%, Canada 3.6%, Russia 2.7% (2010 est.)
 
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$3.3 billion (2010)
country comparison to the world: 135
$2.074 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea
 
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Russia 33.2%, China 30.5%, Japan 6%, South Korea 5.5% (2010 est.)
 
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$2.288 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
$1.327 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$1.86 billion (2009)
country comparison to the world: 141
$1.6 billion (2008)
 
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$NA
 
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$NA
 
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togrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar -
1,357.5 (2010)
1,442.8 (2009)
1,170 (2007)
1,165 (2006)
 
 
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Communications

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193,200 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 128
 
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2.51 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 128
 
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general assessment: network is improving with international direct dialing available in many areas; a fiber-optic network has been installed that is improving broadband and communication services between major urban centers with multiple companies providing inter-city fiber-optic cable services
domestic: very low fixed-line teledensity; there are multiple mobile- cellular providers and subscribership is increasing rapidly;
international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7
 
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following a law passed in 2005, Mongolia's state-run radio and TV provider converted to a public service provider; also available are private radio and TV broadcasters, as well as multi-channel satellite and cable TV providers; more than 100 radio stations, including some 20 via repeaters for the public broadcaster; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2008)
 
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.mn
 
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7,942 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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330,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 125
 
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Transportation

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46 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 94
 
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total: 14
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2010)
 
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total: 32
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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1 (2010)
 
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total: 1,908 km
country comparison to the world: 74
broad gauge: 1,908 km 1.520-m gauge
note: the railway is 50 percent owned by the Russian State Railway (2010)
 
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total: 49,249 km
country comparison to the world: 81
paved: 3,015 km
unpaved: 46,234 km (2010)
 
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580 km (the 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, they are open from May to September) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 82
 
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total: 58
country comparison to the world: 67
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 29, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 1, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 44 (Indonesia 2, North Korea 1, Russia 4, Singapore 1, Turkey 1, Ukraine 1, Vietnam 34) (2010)
 
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Military

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Mongolian Armed Forces: Mongolian Army, Mongolian Air Force; there is no navy (2010)
 
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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)
 
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males age 16-49: 898,546
females age 16-49: 891,192 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 726,199
females age 16-49: 756,628 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 30,829
female: 29,648 (2010 est.)
 
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1.4% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 106
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
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