Photos of Mongolia

Introduction

Background

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 declared its independence from the Manchu-led Qing Empire in 1911 and achieved limited autonomy until 1919, when it again came under Chinese control. The Mongolian Revolution of 1921 ended Chinese dominance, and a communist regime, the Mongolian People’s Republic, took power in 1924.

The modern country of Mongolia, represents only part of the Mongols' historical homeland; today, more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China than in Mongolia. Since the country's peaceful democratic revolution in 1990, the ex-communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) - which took the name Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 2010 - has competed for political power with the Democratic Party (DP) and several other smaller parties, including a new party formed by former President ENKHBAYAR, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In the country's most recent parliamentary elections in June 2016, Mongolians handed the MPP overwhelming control of Parliament, largely pushing out the DP, which had overseen a sharp decline in Mongolia’s economy during its control of Parliament in the preceding years. Mongolians elected a DP member, Khaltmaa BATTULGA, as president in 2017.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Northern Asia, between China and Russia

Geographic coordinates

46 00 N, 105 00 E

Area

total: 1,564,116 sq km

land: 1,553,556 sq km

water: 10,560 sq km

country comparison to the world: 20

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Alaska; more than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries

total: 8,082 km

border countries (2): China 4630 km, Russia 3452 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)

Terrain

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

Elevation

highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Khuiten Peak) 4,374 m

lowest point: Hoh Nuur 560 m

mean elevation: 1,528 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

agricultural land: 73% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 72.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 7% (2018 est.)

other: 20% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

840 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

34.8 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Population distribution

sparsely distributed population throughout the country; the capital of Ulaanbaatar and the northern city of Darhan support the highest population densities

Natural hazards

dust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia

People and Society

Population

3,198,913 (July 2021 est.)

note: Mongolia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world (2 people per sq km); twice as many ethnic Mongols (some 6 million) live in Inner Mongolia (Nei Mongol) in neighboring China

country comparison to the world: 134

Nationality

noun: Mongolian(s)

adjective: Mongolian

Ethnic groups

Khalkh 83.8%, Kazak 3.8%, Durvud 2.6%, Bayad 2%, Buriad 1.4%, Zakhchin 1.2%, Dariganga 1.1%, other 4.1% (2020 est.)

Languages

Mongolian 90% (official) (Khalkha dialect is predominant), Turkic, Russian (1999)

printed major-language sample:
Дэлхийн баримтат ном, үндсэн мэдээллийн зайлшгүй эх сурвалж. (Mongolian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Religions

Buddhist 53%, Muslim 3%, Shamanist 2.9%, Christian 2.2%, other 0.4%, none 38.6% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.96% (male 435,596/female 418,524)

15-24 years: 14.93% (male 239,495/female 233,459)

25-54 years: 45.29% (male 694,481/female 740,334)

55-64 years: 8.04% (male 115,560/female 139,129)

65 years and over: 4.78% (male 60,966/female 90,482) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 54.8

youth dependency ratio: 48.1

elderly dependency ratio: 6.7

potential support ratio: 15 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 29.8 years

male: 28.8 years

female: 30.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Birth rate

16.32 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Death rate

6.28 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Net migration rate

-0.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 137

Population distribution

sparsely distributed population throughout the country; the capital of Ulaanbaatar and the northern city of Darhan support the highest population densities

Urbanization

urban population: 68.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.615 million ULAANBAATAR (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.5 years (2008 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 20-24

Maternal mortality rate

45 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

Infant mortality rate

total: 20.6 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.73 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 80

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.08 years

male: 66.88 years

female: 75.49 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 166

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.6% of population

rural: 59.2% of population

total: 85.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.4% of population

rural: 40.8% of population

total: 14.6% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.86 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

8 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 96.4% of population

rural: 65.1% of population

total: 86.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.6% of population

rural: 34.9% of population

total: 13.5% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<100 (2020 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.4%

male: 98.2%

female: 98.6% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2015)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 25.3%

male: 24.9%

female: 25.9% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Environment

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources in some areas; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws leads to air pollution in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation and overgrazing increase soil erosion from wind and rain; water pollution; desertification and mining activities have a deleterious effect on the environment

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 40.42 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 25.37 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 13.72 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 45.3 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 166.2 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 250.9 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

34.8 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Climate

desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)

Land use

agricultural land: 73% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 72.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 7% (2018 est.)

other: 20% (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 8.62% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 1

Urbanization

urban population: 68.8% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2.9 million tons (2016 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Mongolia

local long form: none

local short form: Mongol Uls

former: Outer Mongolia, Mongolian People's Republic

etymology: the name means "Land of the Mongols" in Latin; the Mongolian name Mongol Uls translates as "Mongol State"

Government type

semi-presidential republic

Capital

name: Ulaanbaatar

geographic coordinates: 47 55 N, 106 55 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Saturday in March; ends last Saturday in September

note: Mongolia has two time zones - Ulaanbaatar Time (8 hours in advance of UTC) and Hovd Time (7 hours in advance of UTC)

etymology: the name means "red hero" in Mongolian and honors national hero Damdin Sukhbaatar, leader of the partisan army that with Soviet Red Army help, liberated Mongolia from Chinese occupation in the early 1920s

Administrative divisions

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

Independence

29 December 1911 (independence declared from China; in actuality, autonomy attained); 11 July 1921 (from China)

National holiday

Naadam (games) holiday (commemorates independence from China in the 1921 Revolution), 11-15 July; Constitution Day (marks the date that the Mongolian People's Republic was created under a new constitution), 26 November (1924)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted 13 January 1992, effective 12 February 1992

amendments: proposed by the State Great Hural, by the president of the republic, by the government, or by petition submitted to the State Great Hural by the Constitutional Court; conducting referenda on proposed amendments requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the State Great Hural; passage of amendments by the State Great Hural requires at least three-quarters majority vote; passage by referendum requires majority participation of qualified voters and a majority of votes; amended 1999, 2000, 2019

Legal system

civil law system influenced by Soviet and Romano-Germanic legal systems; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Mongolia; one parent if born within Mongolia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Khaltmaa BATTULGA (since 10 July 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai OYUN-ERDENE (since 27 January 2021); Deputy Prime Minister Ulziisaikhan ENKHTUVSHIN (since 18 October 2017)

cabinet: directly appointed by the prime minister following a constitutional amendment ratified in November 2019; prior to the amendment, the cabinet was nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the president and confirmed by the State Great Hural (parliament)

elections/appointments: presidential candidates nominated by political parties represented in the State Great Hural and directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 June 2017 with a runoff held 7 July 2017 (next to be held in 2021); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the State Great Hural

election results: Khaltmaa BATTULGA elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Khaltmaa BATTULGA (DP) 38.1%, Miyegombo ENKHBOLD (MPP) 30.3%, Sainkhuu GANBAATAR (MPRP) 30.2%, invalid 1.4%; percent of vote in second round - Khaltmaa BATTULGA 55.2%, Miyegombo ENKHBOLD 44.8%; on 2 July 2020, Prime Minister Ukhnaa KHURELSUKH was reelected prime minister by the State Great Hural

Legislative branch

description: unicameral State Great Hural or Ulsyn Ikh Khural (76 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; each constituency requires at least 50% voter participation for the poll to be valid; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 24 June 2020 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party - MPP 44.9%, DP 24.5%, Our Coalition 8.1%, independent 8.7%, Right Person Electorate Coalition 5.2%, other 8.5%; seats by party - MPP 62, DP 11, Our Coalition 1, Right Person Electorate Coalition 1; independent 1; composition -  63 men, 13 women; percent of women 17.1%; note - the MPRP, Civil Will-Green Party, and Mongolian Traditionally United Party formed Our Coalition for the 2020 election; the Right Person Electorate Coalition was established in 2020 by the National Labor Party, Mongolian Social Democratic Party, and Justice Party

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the Chief Justice and 24 judges organized into civil, criminal, and administrative chambers); Constitutional Court or Tsets (consists of the chairman and 8 members)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice and judges appointed by the president upon recommendation by the General Council of Courts - a 14-member body of judges and judicial officials - to the State Great Hural; appointment is for life; chairman of the Constitutional Court elected from among its members; members appointed from nominations by the State Great Hural - 3 each by the president, the State Great Hural, and the Supreme Court; 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

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party or DP [Sodnomzundui ERDENE; resigned June 2020]
Mongolian National Democratic Party or MNDP [Bayanjargal TSOGTGEREL]
Mongolian People's Party or MPP [Ukhnaa KHURELSUKH]
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Nambar ENKHBAYAR]
Civil Will-Green Party or CWGP [Tserendorjiin GANKHUYAG]
Mongolian Traditionally United Party or MTUP [Batdelgeriin BATBOLD]
National Labor Party or HUN [B. NAIDALAA]
Mongolian Social Democratic Party or MSDP [A. GANBAATAR]
Justice Party [B. NASANBILEG]

note - there are 36 total registered parties as of March 2020

International organization participation

ADB, ARF, CD, CICA, CP, EBRD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, OSCE, SCO (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Yondon OTGONBAYAR (since 28 March 2018)

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael S. KLECHESKI (since 22 February 2019)

telephone: [976] 7007-6001

embassy: Denver Street #3, 11th Micro-District, Ulaanbaatar 14190

mailing address: P.O. Box 341, Ulaanbaatar 14192

FAX: [976] 7007-6016

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); blue represents the sky, red symbolizes progress and prosperity

National symbol(s)

soyombo emblem; national colors: red, blue, yellow

National anthem

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

Economic overview

Foreign direct investment in Mongolia's extractive industries – which are based on extensive deposits of copper, gold, coal, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten - has transformed Mongolia's landlocked economy from its traditional dependence on herding and agriculture. Exports now account for more than 40% of GDP. Mongolia depends on China for more than 60% of its external trade - China receives some 90% of Mongolia's exports and supplies Mongolia with more than one-third of its imports. Mongolia also relies on Russia for 90% of its energy supplies, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad, particularly in South Korea, are significant.

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 WTO 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 by the global financial crisis and Mongolia's real economy contracted 1.3% in 2009. In early 2009, the IMF reached a $236 million Stand-by Arrangement with Mongolia and it emerged from the crisis with a stronger banking sector and better fiscal management. In October 2009, Mongolia passed long-awaited legislation on an investment agreement to develop the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) mine, among the world's largest untapped copper-gold deposits. However, a dispute with foreign investors developing OT called into question the attractiveness of Mongolia as a destination for foreign investment. This caused a severe drop in FDI, and a slowing economy, leading to the dismissal of Prime Minister Norovyn ALTANKHUYAG in November 2014. The economy had grown more than 10% per year between 2011 and 2013 - largely on the strength of commodity exports and high government spending - before slowing to 7.8% in 2014, and falling to the 2% level in 2015. Growth rebounded from a brief 1.6% contraction in the third quarter of 2016 to 5.8% during the first three quarters of 2017, largely due to rising commodity prices.

The May 2015 agreement with Rio Tinto to restart the OT mine and the subsequent $4.4 billion finance package signing in December 2015 stemmed the loss of investor confidence. The current government has made restoring investor trust and reviving the economy its top priority, but has failed to invigorate the economy in the face of the large drop-off in foreign direct investment, mounting external debt, and a sizeable budget deficit. Mongolia secured a $5.5 billion financial assistance package from the IMF and a host of international creditors in May 2017, which is expected to improve Mongolia’s long-term fiscal and economic stability as long as Ulaanbaatar can advance the agreement’s difficult contingent reforms, such as consolidating the government’s off-balance sheet liabilities and rehabilitating the Mongolian banking sector.

Real GDP growth rate

5.1% (2017 est.)

1.2% (2016 est.)

2.4% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 44

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2018)

Moody's rating: B3 (2018)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2018)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$39.723 billion (2019 est.)

$37.774 billion (2018 est.)

$35.222 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 125

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.14 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$12,317 (2019 est.)

$11,916 (2018 est.)

$11,312 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 130

Gross national saving

23.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

26% of GDP (2018 est.)

21.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 12.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 38.2% (2017 est.)

services: 49.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 49.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 12.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 12.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 59.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -57.1% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 67.8 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 86.7 (2020)

Trading score: 60.8 (2020)

Enforcement score: 61.4 (2020)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, goat milk, potatoes, mutton, sheep milk, beef, goat meat, horse meat, carrots/turnips

Industries

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 31.1%

industry: 18.5%

services: 50.5% (2016)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 13.7%

highest 10%: 5.7% (2017)

Budget

revenues: 2.967 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 3.681 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

91.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

90% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.155 billion (2017 est.)

-$700 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Exports

$7.012 billion (2018)

$5.834 billion (2017 est.)

$4.916 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

Exports - partners

China 81%, Switzerland 9% (2019)

Exports - commodities

coal, copper, gold, iron, crude petroleum (2019)

Imports

$5.875 billion (2018)

$4.345 billion (2017 est.)

$3.466 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 131

Imports - partners

China 31%, Russia 29%, Japan 10%, South Korea 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, delivery trucks, construction vehicles, aircraft (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.016 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.296 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Debt - external

$29.945 billion (2019 est.)

$28.046 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 84

Exchange rates

togrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar -

2,378.1 (2017 est.)

2,140.3 (2016 est.)

2,140.3 (2015 est.)

1,970.3 (2014 est.)

1,817.9 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 91% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 99% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 73% (2019)

Crude oil - proved reserves

NA bbl (1 January 2017)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 351,361

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11.2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4,418,919

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 140.87 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

liberalized and competitive telecom market; steady growth in mobile broadband, but fixed-line broadband is still an economical option; installation of a fiber-optic network improved broadband and communication services between major urban centers; compared to other Asian countries, Mongolia's growth in telecom is moderate; mobile broadband rate is growing through competition among operators with reasonable tariffs; launch of 4G LTE services by all major operators; South Korean investment in landline and cellular services; partner in China’s economic corridor project; import of broadcasting equipment from China (2020)

(2020)

domestic: very low fixed-line teledensity 12 per 100; there are four mobile-cellular providers and subscribership is increasing with 137 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7 (2016)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

following a law passed in 2005, Mongolia's state-run radio and TV provider converted to a public service provider; also available are 68 radio and 160 TV stations, including multi-channel satellite and cable TV providers; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 735,823

percent of population: 23.71% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 147

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 317,317

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10.12 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 670,360 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7.82 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 15 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 10 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 29 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 2 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 24 (2013)

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2013)

Railways

total: 1,815 km (2017)

broad gauge: 1,815 km 1.520-m gauge (2017)

note: national operator Ulaanbaatar Railway is jointly owned by the Mongolian Government and by the Russian State Railway

country comparison to the world: 78

Roadways

total: 113,200 km (2017)

paved: 10,600 km (2017)

unpaved: 102,600 km (2017)

country comparison to the world: 44

Waterways

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 ice free from May to September) (2010)

country comparison to the world: 81

Merchant marine

total: 294

by type: bulk carrier 3, container ship 4, general cargo 113, oil tanker 70, other 104 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 55

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Mongolian Armed Forces (Mongol ulsyn zevsegt huchin): General Purpose Troops (Mongolian Army), Air/Air Defense Force, Cyber Security, Special Forces, Civil Engineering, Civil Defense Forces; Border Troops; Internal Security Troops (2020)

Military expenditures

0.7% of GDP (2019)

0.7% of GDP (2018)

0.8% of GDP (2017)

0.9% of GDP (2016)

0.9% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 146

Military and security service personnel strengths

size estimates for the the Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) vary; approximately 9,000 active duty troops (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the MAF are armed with Soviet-era equipment supplemented by deliveries of second-hand Russian weapons (2020)

Military deployments

860 South Sudan (UNMISS); 230 Afghanistan (NATO) (Jan 2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-year conscript service obligation in army or air forces or police for males only (can be exchanged for a 24‐month stint in the civil service or a tax voucher); after conscription, soldiers can contract into military service for 2 or 4 years; citizens can also voluntarily join the armed forces (2020)

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 17 (2019)