Mongabay.com seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development (more)
Size: Total 1,565,000 square kilometers.
Topography: Mountains and rolling plateaus; vast
semidesert and desert plains, 90 percent pasture or desert
wasteland, less than 1 percent arable, 8 to 10 percent forested;
mountains in north, west and southwest; Gobi, a vast desert in
southeast; Selenge river system in north.
Climate: Desert; high, cold, dry, continental climate;
sharp seasonal fluctuations and variation; little precipitation;
great diurnal temperature changes.
Population: 2,125,463 in July 1989; in 1989, birth rate
35.1 per 1,000; death rate 7.6 per 1,000. Approximately 51
percent live in urban areas; nearly 25 percent in Ulaanbaatar in
1986. In 1987 population density per square kilometer 1.36; sex
ratio 50.1 percent male, 49.9 percent female as of 1986.
Ethnic Groups: Nearly 90 percent Mongol. Rest Kazakh
(5.3 percent), Chinese (2 percent), Russian (2 percent);
Tuvins (see Glossary),
Uzbeks (see Glossary),
Uighurs (see Glossary),
and others (1.5 percent).
Languages: Khalkha Mongol (official language), 90
percent; minor languages include Turkic, Chinese, Russian, and
Religion: Predominantly Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism
(Lamaism); about 4 percent Muslim (primarily in southwest), some
shamanism. Limited religious activity although freedom of
religion guaranteed in 1960 Constitution.
Health: Life expectancy in 1989 sixty-three for males,
sixty-seven for females. Infant mortality 49 to 53 per 1,000; 112
hospitals in 1986 with a ratio of 110 hospital beds and 24.8
doctors per 10,000 population. Overall free medical care; medical
specialists and facilities concentrated in urban areas; close
cooperation with Soviet Union in medical research and training.
Education: Four years compulsory elementary school
overall and four years compulsory secondary school in all but
most remote areas; two-year noncompulsory general secondary.
Higher education: one university, seven other institutes of
higher learning. In 1985 primary and secondary education: 28
specialized secondary schools, 40 vocational schools, 900 general
education schools enrolling 435,900 students; many Mongolian
students at universities and technical schools in the Soviet
Union and East European countries--approximately 11,000 studied
abroad in 1986-87. In the late 1980s, educational reform plans
announced for 11-year system of general education with
traditional emphasis. In 1985 national literacy rate estimated at
80 percent; 100 percent claimed by government.
Media: Thirty-five newspapers and thirty-eight
magazines published in 1986.
Data as of June 1989