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East & Southeast Asia :: Mongolia
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  • Introduction :: MONGOLIA

  • 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 in 1990, 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 (DP) that lasted until January 2012. In 2009, current President ELBEGDORJ of the DP was elected to office and was re-elected for his second term in June 2013. In 2010, the MPRP voted to retake the name of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), a name it used in the early 1920s. Shortly thereafter, a new party was formed by former president ENKHBAYAR, who had been a member of the MPP, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In the 2012 Parliamentary elections, a coalition of four political parties led by the DP, gained control of the Parliament. The coalition dissolved in November 2014 when then Prime Minster ALTANKHUYAG was voted out of office by Parliament. A new grand coalition—which includes the DP, MPP, MPRP, Mongolian National Democratic Party, and the Civil Will Green Party—was formed in December under the leadership of Prime Minister SAIKHANBILEG.
  • Geography :: MONGOLIA

  • Northern Asia, between China and Russia
    46 00 N, 105 00 E
    total: 1,564,116 sq km
    land: 1,553,556 sq km
    water: 10,560 sq km
    slightly smaller than Alaska; more than twice the size of Texas
    total: 8,082 km
    border countries (2): China 4,630 km, Russia 3,452 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    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
    lowest point: Hoh Nuur 560 m
    highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
    oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
    agricultural land: 73%
    arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 72.6%
    forest: 7%
    other: 20% (2011 est.)
    843 sq km (2003)
    34.8 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.55 cu km/yr (13%/43%/44%)
    per capita: 196.8 cu m/yr (2009)
    dust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
    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
    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
    landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia
  • People and Society :: MONGOLIA

  • noun: Mongolian(s)
    adjective: Mongolian
    Khalkh 81.9%, Kazak 3.8%, Dorvod 2.7%, Bayad 2.1%, Buryat-Bouriates 1.7%, Zakhchin 1.2%, Dariganga 1%, Uriankhai 1%, other 4.6% (2010 est.)
    Khalkha Mongol 90% (official), Turkic, Russian (1999)
    Buddhist 53%, Muslim 3%, Christian 2.2%, Shamanist 2.9%, other 0.4%, none 38.6% (2010 est.)
    2,953,190 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 26.8% (male 404,051/female 388,546)
    15-24 years: 18.7% (male 278,912/female 273,167)
    25-54 years: 44.5% (male 636,799/female 677,236)
    55-64 years: 5.9% (male 80,267/female 94,021)
    65 years and over: 4.1% (male 49,314/female 70,877) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 45.4%
    youth dependency ratio: 39.9%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.5%
    potential support ratio: 18% (2014 est.)
    total: 27.1 years
    male: 26.3 years
    female: 27.8 years (2014 est.)
    1.37% (2014 est.)
    20.88 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    6.38 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    -0.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 71.2% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 2.78% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    ULAANBAATAR (capital) 1.334 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    note: median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2008 est.)
    68 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 23.15 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 26.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 19.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 68.98 years
    male: 64.72 years
    female: 73.45 years (2014 est.)
    2.22 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    54.9% (2010)
    6% of GDP (2013)
    2.84 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
    6.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 94.8% of population
    rural: 61.2% of population
    total: 84.6% of population
    urban: 5.2% of population
    rural: 38.8% of population
    total: 15.4% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 65.3% of population
    rural: 35.4% of population
    total: 56.2% of population
    urban: 34.7% of population
    rural: 64.6% of population
    total: 43.8% of population (2012 est.)
    0.04% (2013 est.)
    600 (2013 est.)
    fewer than 100 (2013 est.)
    15.7% (2014)
    1.6% (2013)
    5.5% of GDP (2011)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.4%
    male: 98.2%
    female: 98.6% (2015 est.)
    total: 15 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 15 years (2010)
    total number: 106,203
    percentage: 18% (2005 est.)
    total: 11.9%
    male: 10.7%
    female: 13.2% (2011 est.)
  • Government :: MONGOLIA

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Mongolia
    local long form: none
    local short form: Mongol Uls
    former: Outer Mongolia
    name: Ulaanbaatar
    geographic coordinates: 47 55 N, 106 55 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    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
    11 July 1921 (from China)
    Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)
    several previous; latest adopted 13 January 1992, effective 12 February 1992; amended 1999, 2001 (2011)
    civil law system influenced by Soviet and Romano-Germanic legal systems; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ (since 18 June 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Chimed SAIKHANBILEG (since 21 November 2014); Deputy Prime Minister Ukhnaa KHURELSUKH (since 9 December 2014)
    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 on 26 June 2013 (next to be held in June 2017); following legislative elections, leaders of the majority party or a majority coalition usually elect the prime minister of the State Great Hural
    election results: Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ elected president; percent of vote - Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ 50.2%, Badmaanyambuu BAT-ERDENE 42%, Natsag UDVAL 6.5%, other 1.3%
    description: unicameral State Great Hural or Ulsyn Ikh Khural (76 seats; 48 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 28 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 28 June 2012 (next to be held in June 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DP 33, MPP 27, Justice Coalition 11, independent 3, CWGP 2
    note: 4 seats were determined after the election; 2 DP candidates gained seats when winning MPP candidates were determined to have broken electoral law; candidates in 2 other constituencies did not receive the necessary 28% of the vote to be elected, and MPP candidates won both seats in repolling; seats by party as of May 2015 - DP 35, MPP 26, Justice Coalition 10, independent 3, CWGP 2
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the Chief Justice and 24 judges organized into civil, criminal, and administrative chambers); Constitutional Court or Tsets (consists of a chairman and 8 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice and judges appointed by the president upon recommendation to the State Great Hural by the General Council of Courts, a 14-member body of judges and judicial officials; term of appointment is for life; chairman of the Constitutional Court elected from among its members; members appointed by the State Great Hural upon nominations - 3 each by the president, the State Great Hural, and the Supreme Court; term of appointment is 6 years; chairmanship limited to a single renewable 3-year term
    subordinate courts: aimag (provincial) and capital city appellate courts; soum, inter-soum, and district courts; Administrative Cases Courts (established in 2004)
    Civil Will-Green Party or CWGP [Sanjaasuren OYUN, Sambuu DEMBEREL, Tserendorj GANKHUYAG]
    Democratic Party or DP [Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD]
    Justice Coalition (includes MPRP and MNDP)
    Mongolian National Democratic Party or MNDP [Mendsaikhan ENKHSAIKHAN]
    Mongolian People's Party or MPP [Miyegombo ENKHBOLD]
    Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Nambar ENKHBAYAR]
    other: human rights groups; women's groups; disability rights groups
    chief of mission: Ambassador Bulgaa ALTANGEREL (since 8 January 2013)
    chancery: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 333-7117
    FAX: [1] (202) 298-9227
    consulate(s) general: New York, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Piper Anne Wind CAMPBELL (since 6 August 2012)
    embassy: Denver Street
    mailing address: PSC 461, Box 300, FPO AP 96521-0002; P.O. Box 341, Ulaanbaatar-14192
    telephone: [976] 7007-6001
    FAX: [976] 7007-6016
    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
    soyombo emblem; national colors: red, blue, yellow
    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; lyrics altered on numerous occasions
  • Economy :: MONGOLIA

  • Mongolia's extensive mineral deposits and attendant growth in mining-sector activities have transformed Mongolia's economy, which traditionally has been dependent on herding and agriculture. Mongolia's copper, gold, coal, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten deposits, among others, have attracted foreign direct investment (FDI). 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 strong economic growth because of market reforms and extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy. The country opened a fledgling stock exchange in 1991. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade regimes. Growth averaged nearly 9% per year in 2004-08 largely because of high copper prices globally and new gold production. By late 2008, Mongolia was hit hard by the global financial crisis. Slower global economic growth hurt the country's exports, notably copper, and slashed government revenues. As a result, Mongolia's real economy contracted 1.3% in 2009. In early 2009, the International Monetary Fund reached a $236 million Stand-by Arrangement with Mongolia and the country emerged from the crisis with a stronger banking sector and needed reforms to the government’s fiscal management. In October 2009, Mongolia passed long-awaited legislation on an investment agreement to develop the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) mine, considered to be among the world's largest untapped copper-gold deposits. However, Mongolia's ongoing dispute with foreign investors developing Oyu Tolgoi has called into question the attractiveness of Mongolia as a destination for foreign investment. This caused a loss of investor confidence, a severe drop in FDI, and a slowing economy, leading to the dismissal of Prime Minister ALTANKHUYAG in November. The new government has made restoring investor trust and reviving the economy its top priority but it will be challenged to unwind the monetary and fiscal stimulus programs in use since 2013 to counteract the fall in foreign investment. In December 2014 the government awarded a deal to develop the massive Tavan Tolgoi (TT) coal field to a consortium comprising Energy Resources/MCS (Mongolia), Shenhua (China), and Sumitomo (Japan); talks continue to hammer out the financing and the operating details. The economy grew more than 10% per year since 2010, largely on the strength of commodity exports to nearby countries and high government spending domestically, before slowing to 7.8% in 2014. Mongolia's economy faces near-term economic risks from the government's loose fiscal and monetary policies, which are contributing to high inflation, and from uncertainties in foreign demand for Mongolian exports. Trade with China represents nearly 62% of Mongolia's total external trade - China receives some 90% of Mongolia's exports and supplies Mongolia with more than one-third of its imports. . Mongolia has relied on Russia for energy supplies, leaving it vulnerable to price increases; in 2014, Mongolia purchased nearly 90% of its gasoline and diesel fuel from Russia. A drop in FDI has put pressure on Mongolia's external finances. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad, particularly in South Korea, are significant.
    $29.35 billion (2014 est.)
    $27.23 billion (2013 est.)
    $24.37 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $11.73 billion (2014 est.)
    7.8% (2014 est.)
    11.7% (2013 est.)
    12.4% (2012 est.)
    $10,200 (2014 est.)
    $9,400 (2013 est.)
    $8,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 133
    40.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    28.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    30.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 54.4%
    government consumption: 12%
    investment in fixed capital: 46.1%
    investment in inventories: 10.3%
    exports of goods and services: 43.7%
    imports of goods and services: -66.5%
    (2013 est.)
    agriculture: 12.2%
    industry: 35%
    services: 41.1% (2014 est.)
    wheat, barley, vegetables, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses
    construction and construction materials; mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, tin, tungsten, gold); oil; food and beverages; processing of animal products, cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing
    16.1% (2014 est.)
    1.128 million (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 28.6%
    industry: 21%
    services: 50.4% (2014)
    7.7% (2014 est.)
    7.8% (2013 est.)
    29.8% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3%
    highest 10%: 28.4% (2008)
    36.5 (2008)
    32.8 (2002)
    revenues: $3.524 billion
    expenditures: $3.735 billion (2014 est.)
    30.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -1.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    calendar year
    11% (2014 est.)
    11.9% (2013 est.)
    13% (15 January 2015)
    12% (31 July 2014)
    18.2% (31 December 2014 est.)
    17.4% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.184 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.259 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $6.178 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $5.72 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $7.958 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $6.751 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.293 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.579 billion (31 December 2011)
    $1.093 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $-1.223 billion (2014 est.)
    $-3.192 billion (2013 est.)
    $5.775 billion (2014 est.)
    $4.273 billion (2013 est.)
    copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals, coal, crude oil
    China 90% (2013)
    $5.237 billion (2014 est.)
    $6.355 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, cigarettes and tobacco, appliances, soap and detergent
    China 37.8%, Russia 27.6%, South Korea 6.2%, Japan 4.6%, US 4.4% (2013)
    $5.352 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $5.371 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $15.74 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $13.46 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.241 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.191 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    togrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar -
    1,817.4 (2014 est.)
    1,523.9 (2013 est.)
    1,357.6 (2012 est.)
    1,265.5 (2011 est.)
    1,357.1 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: MONGOLIA

  • 4.472 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    4.062 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    24 million kWh (2011 est.)
    258 million kWh (2011 est.)
    833,200 kW (2011 est.)
    99.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    14,050 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    5,680 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    NA bbl
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    25,110 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    17,360 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    11.36 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: MONGOLIA

  • 176,700 (2012)
    3.375 million (2012)
    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
    international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7 (2011)
    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)
    AM 7, FM 108 (includes 20 national radio broadcaster repeaters), shortwave 4 (2009)
    99 (2009)
    20,084 (2012)
    330,000 (2008)
  • Transportation :: MONGOLIA

  • 44 (2013)
    total: 15
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
    total: 29
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
    under 914 m:
    1 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    total: 1,908 km
    broad gauge: 1,908 km 1.520-m gauge
    note: the railway is 50 percent owned by the Russian State Railway (2010)
    total: 49,249 km
    paved: 4,800 km
    unpaved: 44,449 km (2013)
    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)
    total: 57
    by type: bulk carrier 21, cargo 25, chemical tanker 1, container 2, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 2, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 1
    foreign-owned: 44 (Indonesia 2, Japan 2, North Korea 1, Russia 2, Singapore 3, Ukraine 1, Vietnam 33) (2010)
  • Military :: MONGOLIA

  • Mongolian Armed Forces (Mongol ulsyn zevsegt huchin): Mongolian Army, Mongolian Air and Air Defense (2015)
    18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-year conscript service obligation in land or air defense forces or police; a small portion of Mongolian land forces is comprised of contract soldiers; women cannot be deployed overseas for military operations (2015)
    males age 16-49: 898,546
    females age 16-49: 891,192 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 726,199
    females age 16-49: 756,628 (2010 est.)
    male: 30,829
    female: 29,648 (2010 est.)
    1.12% of GDP (2012)
    0.99% of GDP (2011)
    1.12% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: MONGOLIA

  • none
    stateless persons: 16 (2014)