CAPITAL: Ulan Bator
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 1,556,500 Sq Km (604,800 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Mongolia is a landlocked country located in East Central Asia. It is bound by Russia to the north and China to the east, south and west. Mongolia is a mountainous country with the high ground concentrated in the west, while the Mongolian Altai Mountain Chain of folded mountains lies northwest to southeast. The arid Gobi Desert which accounts for 33% of the land area, is located in the southeast and supports almost no natural vegetation. The Khenti Mountains are the only eastern upland area and 10% of the country is forested while the lowland plains are arid grasslands. Salt lakes are common in the northwest and the principal rivers include the Kereulen, Orhon Gol, Selenge Moron, Dzavhars Gol, Haraa Gol and Tuul Gol. Major Cities (pop. est.); Ulan Bator 680,000, Darhan 85,800, Erdenet 63,000, Choybalsan 46,000 (1994). Land Use; forested 10%, pastures 78%, agricultural-cultivated 1%, other 11% (1993).

CLIMATE: Mongolia has a continental climate characterized by long cold winters between October and April and short summers between July and August, when most of the rainfall occurs. Precipitation is sparse and averages 254 mm (10 inches) annually at Ulan Bator. Average temperature ranges in Ulan Bator are from -32 to -19 degrees Celsius (-26 to -2 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 11 to 22 degrees Celsius (52 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.

PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Mongols, of which the Khalka group account for almost 78% of the population, followed by the Kazakh who represent 5.3% while around 15% include the following Mongol groups, the Durbet, Dariganga, Turvins and Khotans. Other ethnic minorities include the Chinese who account for 2% of the population and Russians who also account for 2%.

DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 1.4 persons per sq km (3.5 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 58.0% urban, 42.0% rural (1990). Sex Distribution; 49.9% male, 50.1% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth; 63.0 years male, 65.0 years female (1993). Age Breakdown; 42% under 15, 29% 15 to 29, 15% 30 to 44, 8% 45 to 59, 6% 60 and over (1989). Birth Rate; 33.0 per 1,000 (1993). Death Rate; 8.0 per 1,000 (1993). Increase Rate; 25.0 per 1,000 (1993). Infant Mortality Rate; 64.0 per 1,000 live births (1991).

RELIGIONS: Tibetan Buddhism and Lamaism are the predominant religions while Shamanism and the Muslim faiths form the religious minorities.

LANGUAGES: The official language is Khalka Mongolian which is spoken by 90% of the population. Other minority languages include Kazakh, Chinese and Russian.

EDUCATION: Aged 10 or over and having attained: primary 48.0%, incomplete secondary 29.7%, secondary 9.5%, vocational 7.0%, higher 5.8% (1979). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 849,000 or 89.5% (1980).

MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1946 China recognized Mongolia's independence. In 1952 Horloogiyan Choybalsan died and was replaced by Yumjaagiyan Tsedenbal as Prime Minister. In 1961 Mongolia joined the UN and in the early 1960's Mongolia aligned itself with the Soviet Union during the Soviet-Chinese dispute for leadership of the communist world. In 1966 Mongolia and the Soviet Union signed a new mutual Assistance Treaty. In 1974 Tsedenbal was elected President and Jamhyn Batmonh took over as Prime Minister. In 1984 Batmonh succeeded Tsedenbal after he was removed from office. Batmonh embarked on a program to emulate Soviet policies that included anti-corruption and in 1986 the first multiparty demonstrations took place without incident. In late 1989 the Mongolian Democratic Union was formed by students and intellectuals who organized further demonstrations between January and March 1990, which called for the end to a single-party system of government. In Mar. 1990 Batmonh and the rest of the Politburo resigned while the National Assembly adopted new election laws and Punsalmaagiyan Ochirbat replaced Batmonh as Chief of State. In July 1990 multiparty elections were held and Ochirbat was elected President. During 1991 Mongolia faced acute shortages of fossil fuels, replacement machinery and medicines while the rationing of essential food items was also introduced. Also during the year a stock market and commercial banks were established while the government embarked on a privatization program of state owned enterprises in two stages: a "little privatization" from June for shops and restaurants and a "big privatization" of large enterprises later in the year. In 1992 general elections resulted in the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) winning 70 of the 76 seats in the Great Hural (Parliament). In May 1992 the IMF and donor countries raised a further US $320 million for short-term standby economic aid. In July 1992 the Great Hural approved Puntsagiyn Jasray as Prime Minister and elected Natasagiyn Bagabandi as chairman. Also in 1992 there were major disruptions to rail, road and air transport as well as coal mining that led to electricity shortages due to Russia being unable to deliver oil for several months while the remaining Russian troops were also withdrawn from Mongolia on schedule. In April 1993 the IMF approved the release of the 1992 standby credit following the government's financial reforms that included the devaluation of the Turgik which was also floated in May 1993. On June 6, 1993 Pres. Ochirbat, a former MPRP member, was reelected President with the support of the opposition parties. In July 1993 the government introduced new foreign-investment legislation in the hope of attracting foreign capital and joint-ventures, particularly for the mining sector. In Sept. 1993 donor countries raised a further US $150 million for long-term projects that included the upgrading of Mongolian railways. Also in 1993 the government, in the face of rising crime, abolished crimes against state security and reduced crimes punishable by death, although the length of prison terms was increased while the country also experienced a number of natural disasters that included steppe fires, flooding and dust storms that further strained the economic situation.

CURRENCY: The official currency is the Tughrik (T) divided into 100 Mongo.

ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $984,800,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $10,391,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $218,600,000 (1994). Exports; USD $324,300,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; N/A. Balance of Trade; USD $106,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 844,700 or 38.4% of total population (1993). Unemployed; 8.5% (1993).

MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are former USSR and other former Eastern European communist countries as well as the USA.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cereals, Coal, Copper, Fluorspar, Gold, Hay Fodder, Lignite, Livestock, Molybdenum, Nickel, Phosphates, Potatoes, Tin, Vegetables, Wolfram, Zinc.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Building Materials, Food Processing, Mining, Processing Hides and Skins, Textiles.

MAIN EXPORTS: Coal, Fluorspar, Hides, Livestock, Meat, Minerals, Non Ferrous Metals, Phosphates, Wool.

TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 1,815 km (1,128 mi) (1988), passenger-km 531,000,000 (329,948,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 6,241,000,000 (4,274,000,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 49,200 km (30,571 mi) (1988). Vehicles; N/A. Merchant Marine; nil. Air Transport; passenger-km 532,000,000 (330,569,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 10,600,000 (7,260,000 short ton-mi) (1988).

COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 3 with a total circulation of 208,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 275,000 (1992). Television; receivers 120,000 (1992). Telephones; units 66,400 (1993).

MILITARY: 21,100 (1995) total active duty personnel with 94.8% army, 0.0% navy and 5.2% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.4% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).

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