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Mongolia Historical and Political Profile

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Mongolia Index

  • Mongolia-Pro-natal Policies
  • Mongolia-Crop Production
  • Mongolia-Domestic Trade and Other Services
  • Mongolia-The Security System
  • Mongolia -Country Profile
  • Mongolia-Roads
  • Mongolia-Agriculture
  • Mongolia-Internal Discord and War with Japan
  • Mongolia-Economic Role
  • Mongolia-Labor Organizations
  • Mongolia-The Yuan Dynasty
  • Mongolia-The Media
  • Mongolia-Foreign Sources
  • Mongolia-Legislative
  • Mongolia-Science, Progress, and Tradition
  • Mongolia-Caught Between the Russians and the Manchus
  • Mongolia-Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party
  • Mongolia-Energy
  • Mongolia-Constitutional Framework
  • Mongolia-Foreign Policy
  • Mongolia-Donghu, Toba, and Ruruan
  • Mongolia-Position of Women
  • Mongolia-China
  • Mongolia-Unifying Structures
  • Mongolia-Religious Survivals
  • Mongolia-Inland Waterways
  • Mongolia-The End of Independence
  • Mongolia-Beginning of Modern Military Practices, 1911-21
  • Mongolia-Form of Government Government Structure
  • Mongolia-Other Mass Organizations
  • Mongolia-Chapter 5 - National Security
  • Mongolia-Preface
  • Mongolia-Purges of the Opposition, 1928-32
  • Mongolia-Uses of Buddhism
  • Mongolia-The Ilkhans
  • Mongolia-Judicial
  • Mongolia-Political Bureau and Secretariat
  • Mongolia-Population Distribution
  • Mongolia-Promotion of Traditional Festivals
  • Mongolia-Kinship, Family, and Marriage
  • Mongolia-Acknowledgments
  • Mongolia-General Political Values and Attitudes
  • Mongolia-Chapter 1 - Historical Setting
  • Mongolia-Mass Organizations
  • Mongolia-Criminal Court System
  • Mongolia-Composition Labor Force
  • Mongolia-Motivation and Goals
  • Mongolia-The Urban Population
  • Mongolia-Education and Training
  • Mongolia-Revolutionary Transformation, 1921-24
  • Mongolia-The School System Education
  • Mongolia-Tourism
  • Mongolia-Transportation
  • Mongolia-The Golden Horde
  • Mongolia-Precautions Against AIDS
  • Mongolia-Organization since 1968
  • Mongolia-Origins of the Mongols Early Development, ca - 220 B.C.-A.D - 1206
  • Mongolia-Democratic Centralism
  • Mongolia-Peacetime Development, 1946-52
  • Mongolia-Banking and Insurance Services
  • Mongolia-Conquest of Khwarizm and Reconnaissance into Europe
  • Mongolia-Political Issues
  • Mongolia-Foreword
  • Mongolia-Chapter 4 - Government and Politics
  • Mongolia-Foreign Relations
  • Mongolia-Consolidation of the Mongolian People's Republic, 1925- 28
  • Mongolia-Major State Organizations
  • Mongolia-Constraints on Herding
  • Mongolia-Economic Gradualism and National Defense, 1932-45
  • Mongolia-Period of Autonomy, 1911-21 Modern Mongolia, 1911-84
  • Mongolia-Incidence of Crime
  • Mongolia-Executive
  • Mongolia-Health-Care Systems Health and Welfare
  • Mongolia-Construction
  • Mongolia-Civil-Military Relations
  • Mongolia-Early Wars in China
  • Mongolia-Climate
  • Mongolia-Higher Education
  • Mongolia-Education and Employment
  • Mongolia-Party Congress
  • Mongolia-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mongolia-Local Administration
  • Mongolia-Forestry
  • Mongolia-Environmental Concerns
  • Mongolia-Exports and Imports
  • Mongolia-Personnel
  • Mongolia-Pastoral Nomadism Society
  • Mongolia-Retail Trade and Consumption
  • Mongolia-Role of the Government Socialist Framework of the Economy
  • Mongolia-Telecommunications
  • Mongolia-Participation in Comecon
  • Mongolia-Landforms Geography
  • Mongolia-Criminal Justice and Public Security
  • Mongolia-Major Channels
  • Mongolia-A New Khan Khubilai Khan and the Yuan Dynasty, 1261-1368
  • Mongolia-Mongolian Science
  • Mongolia-The Last Campaign of Chinggis Khan
  • Mongolia-Foreign Economic Relations and Comecon
  • Mongolia-The Legal System
  • Mongolia-Structure of the Economy
  • Mongolia-The Suppression of Buddhism
  • Mongolia-Cultural Unity and Mongol Identity
  • Mongolia-Pastoralism in Practice
  • Mongolia-Mongolian-Soviet Friendship Society
  • Mongolia-Historical Traditions The Armed Forces
  • Mongolia-Return to Nomadic Patterns Mongolia in Transition, 1368-1911
  • Mongolia-Collectivized Farming and Herding
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Study in the Soviet Union
  • Mongolia-The Mongolian Army, 1921-68
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-United States
  • Mongolia-Animal Husbandry
  • Mongolia-Working Conditions and Income
  • Mongolia-Postwar Developments
  • Mongolia-The Mongol Decline
  • Mongolia-Natural resources
  • Mongolia-Subetei and the European Expedition
  • Mongolia-Vital Rates Population
  • Mongolia-Auxiliary Security Forces
  • Mongolia-Light Industry
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Work Collectives
  • Mongolia-Planned Modernization
  • Mongolia-Other Countries
  • Mongolia-Central Committee
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-ECONOMY
  • Mongolia-Threat Perception
  • Mongolia-Influence of Tang China
  • Mongolia-Trade Unions
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Membership
  • Mongolia-Socialist Construction under Tsedenbal, 1952-84
  • Mongolia-The Political Process
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Channels of Social Mobility
  • Mongolia-GEOGRAPHY
  • Mongolia-SOCIETY
  • Mongolia-Role of the Military
  • Mongolia-Regional and Local Party Organizations
  • Mongolia-Information Policy
  • Mongolia-Family Structure
  • Mongolia-Table A - Chronology of Important Events
  • Mongolia-Fishing
  • Mongolia-Industry
  • Mongolia-Law Enforcement The Penal System
  • Mongolia-Introduction
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Marriage
  • Mongolia-Xiongnu and Yuezhi
  • Mongolia-Planning
  • Mongolia-Women's Organizations
  • Mongolia-Chapter 3 - The Economy
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-National Defense, 1940-45
  • Mongolia-Buddhism Religion
  • Mongolia-Kitan and Jurchen
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Mengke and the War in China
  • Mongolia-Foreign Assistance, Investment, and Joint Ventures
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Chinese, Russians, and Others
  • Mongolia-Mongols and Kazakhs Ethnic and Linguistic Groups
  • Mongolia-Traditional Patterns
  • Mongolia-Chapter 2 - The Society and Its Environment
  • Mongolia-International Organizations
  • Mongolia-Social Mobility
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia
  • Mongolia-Rise of the Türk
  • BackgroundThe 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 2004-08. The MPRP regained a solid majority in the 2008 parliamentary elections but nevertheless formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party. The prime minister and most cabinet members are MPRP members.
    LocationNorthern Asia, between China and Russia
    Area(sq km)total: 1,564,116 sq km
    land: 1,553,556 sq km
    water: 10,560 sq km
    Geographic coordinates46 00 N, 105 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)total: 8,220 km
    border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km

    Coastline(km)0 km (landlocked)

    Climatedesert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Hoh Nuur 518 m
    highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
    Natural resourcesoil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
    Land use(%)arable land: 0.76%
    permanent crops: 0%
    other: 99.24% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)840 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)34.8 cu km (1999)
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
    per capita: 166 cu m/yr (2000)
    Natural hazardsdust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
    Environment - current issueslimited 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
    Environment - international agreementsparty 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
    Geography - notelandlocked; strategic location between China and Russia
    Population3,041,142 (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 28.1% (male 436,391/female 418,923)
    15-64 years: 67.9% (male 1,031,819/female 1,033,806)
    65 years and over: 4% (male 52,430/female 67,773) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 25.3 years
    male: 24.9 years
    female: 25.7 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)1.493% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)21.05 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)6.12 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)NA (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 57% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)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 (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 39.88 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 42.99 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 36.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 67.65 years
    male: 65.23 years
    female: 70.19 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)2.23 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Mongolian(s)
    adjective: Mongolian
    Ethnic groups(%)Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)

    Religions(%)Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4%, none 40% (2004)
    Languages(%)Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)

    Country nameconventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Mongolia
    local long form: none
    local short form: Mongol Uls
    former: Outer Mongolia
    Government typeparliamentary
    Capitalname: Ulaanbaatar
    geographic coordinates: 47 55 N, 106 55 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions21 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

    Legal systemblend of Soviet and German systems that employ "continental" or "civil" code; case-precedent may be used to inform judges, but all decisions must refer to the law as written; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief 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)
    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 24 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2013); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by State Great Hural
    election results: in elections in May 2009, Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ elected president; percent of vote - Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ 51.24%, Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR 47.44%, others 1.32%

    Legislative branchunicameral 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 46, DP 27, others 3

    Judicial branchSupreme 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)

    Political pressure groups and leadersother: human rights groups; women's groups
    Flag descriptionthree 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 - overviewEconomic 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. Until late 2008 Mongolia experienced a soaring inflation rate with year-to-year inflation reaching nearly 40% - the highest inflation rate in over a decade. In late 2008 falling commodity prices in this import-reliant country helped lower inflation but by that time, the country had begun to feel the effects of the global financial crisis. Falling prices for copper and other mineral exports have reduced government revenues and are forcing cuts in spending. The global credit crisis has stalled growth in key sectors, especially those that had been fueled by foreign investment. 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 about 70% of Mongolia's exports. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizable but have fallen due to the economic crisis; 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.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$9.499 billion (2008 est.)
    $8.714 billion (2007 est.)
    $7.929 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$5.243 billion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)9% (2008 est.)
    9.9% (2007 est.)
    8.6% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,200 (2008 est.)
    $3,000 (2007 est.)
    $2,700 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 18.8%
    industry: 38.5%
    services: 42.7% (2008)
    Labor force1.068 million (2008)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 34%
    industry: 5%
    services: 61% (2008)
    Unemployment rate(%)2.8% (2008)
    3% (2007)
    Population below poverty line(%)36.1% (2004)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.9%
    highest 10%: 24.9% (2005)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index32.8 (2002)
    44 (1998)
    Budgetrevenues: $1.71 billion
    expenditures: $1.95 billion (2008)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)28% (2008 est.)
    9% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$521.2 million (31 December 2008)
    $504.7 million (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$1.288 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.53 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$1.743 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.183 billion (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$412 million (31 December 2008)
    $612.2 million (31 December 2007)
    $112.6 million (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$159.5 million (2006)

    Agriculture - productswheat, barley, vegetables, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses
    Industriesconstruction 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

    Industrial production growth rate(%)3% (2006 est.)

    Current account balance-$1 billion (2008 est.)
    -$23 million (2007 est.)
    Exports$2.539 billion (2008)
    $1.889 billion (2007)

    Exports - commodities(%)copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals, coal
    Exports - partners(%)China 74%, Canada 9.4%, Russia 3.3% (2008)
    Imports$3.615 billion (2008)
    $2.117 billion (2007)

    Imports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea
    Imports - partners(%)Russia 34.1%, China 29.1%, South Korea 7.6%, Japan 7.4% (2008)

    Debt - external$1.6 billion (2008)
    $1.438 billion (2007)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
    Exchange ratestogrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar - 1,267.51 (2008), 1,170 (2007), 1,165 (2006), 1,205 (2005), 1,185.3 (2004)

    Currency (code)togrog/tugrik (MNT)

    Telephones - main lines in use165,000 (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular1.796 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral 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 has been installed that is improving broadband and communication services between major urban centers with multiple companies providing inter-city fiber-optic cable services
    international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7
    Internet country code.mn
    Internet users330,000 (2008)
    Airports45 (2009)
    Roadways(km)total: 49,249 km
    paved: 2,671 km
    unpaved: 46,578 km (2008)

    Military branchesMongolian Armed Forces: Mongolian Army, Mongolian Air Force; there is no navy (2009)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)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 servicemales age 16-49: 865,425
    females age 16-49: 860,669 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 706,774
    females age 16-49: 740,550 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 28,251
    female: 27,344 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.4% of GDP (2006)
    Disputes - internationalnone

    Electricity - production(kWh)3.979 billion kWh (2008)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)3.491 billion kWh (2008)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)15.8 million kWh (2008)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)197.5 million kWh (2008)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)3,216 bbl/day (2008)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)15,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)17,680 bbl/day (2008)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)0 bbl
    Natural gas - production(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSfewer than 500 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 200 (2003 est.)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 97.8%
    male: 98%
    female: 97.5% (2000 census)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 13 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 14 years (2006)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)5% of GDP (2004)

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