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; today, 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) - which took the name Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 2010 - has competed for political power with the Democratic Party (DP), the main opposition party, and several other smaller parties, including a new party formed by former President ENKHBAYAR, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In its 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. President ELBEGDORJ, a DP member, will finish his second term as president in 2017, and is not eligible to run for reelection.



Northern Asia, between China and Russia

Geographic coordinates

46 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references



total: 1,564,116 sq km
land: 1,553,556 sq km
water: 10,560 sq km

Area - comparative

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

Land boundaries

total: 8,082 km
border countries (2): China 4,630 km, Russia 3,452 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

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


mean elevation: 1,528 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Hoh Nuur 560 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

agricultural land: 73%
arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 72.6%
forest: 7%
other: 20% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

840 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

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

Environment - current issues

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

Environment - international agreements

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

Geography - note

landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia

People and Society


3,031,330 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Mongolian(s)
adjective: Mongolian

Ethnic groups

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.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.92% (male 416,053/female 399,954)
15-24 years: 16.76% (male 256,897/female 251,160)
25-54 years: 45.45% (male 667,509/female 710,116)
55-64 years: 6.68% (male 92,781/female 109,768)
65 years and over: 4.19% (male 51,691/female 75,401) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 47.6%
youth dependency ratio: 41.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 6%
potential support ratio: 16.7% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 27.9 years
male: 27.1 years
female: 28.7 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.25% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

19.6 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)


urban population: 72% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.78% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ULAANBAATAR (capital) 1.377 million (2015)

Sex ratio

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: 0.85 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 106,203
percentage: 18% (2005 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

44 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 21.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 24.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.6 years
male: 65.4 years
female: 74.1 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.13 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

54.9% (2010)

Health expenditures

4.7% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

2.84 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

6.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

urban: 66.4% of population
rural: 59.2% of population
total: 64.4% of population
urban: 33.6% of population
rural: 40.8% of population
total: 35.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 66.4% of population
rural: 42.6% of population
total: 59.7% of population
urban: 33.6% of population
rural: 57.4% of population
total: 40.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.02% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

400 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

fewer than 100 (2015 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

15.7% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

1.6% (2013)

Education expenditures

4.6% of GDP (2011)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.2%
female: 98.6% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2014)

Mother's mean age at first birth

note: median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2008 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 16.6%
male: 14.7%
female: 19.1% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Mongolia
local long form: none
local short form: Mongol Uls
former: Outer Mongolia
etymology: the name means "Land of the Mongols" in Latin; the Mongolian name Mongol Uls translates as "Mongol State"

Government type

semi-presidential republic


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)

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


11 July 1921 (from China)

National holiday

Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)


several previous; latest adopted 13 January 1992, effective 12 February 1992; amended 1999, 2001; legislation on amendments proposed in 2015 continued into 2016 (2016)

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 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


18 years of age; universal

National symbol(s)

soyombo emblem; national colors: red, blue, yellow

Executive branch

chief of state: President Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ (since 18 June 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Jargaltulga ERDENEBAT (since 7 July 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Ukhnaa KHURELSUKH (since 25 July 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the president, 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 2013 (next to be held in June 2017); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by the State Great Hural
election results: Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ reelected president; percent of vote - Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ (DP) 50.2%, Badmaanyambuu BAT-ERDENE (MPP) 42%, Natsag UDVAL (MPRP) 6.5%, other 1.3%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral State Great Hural or Ulsyn Ikh Khural (76 seats; all members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 29 June 2016 (next to be held in June 2020)
election results: MPP 65, DP 9, MPRP 1, independent 1

Judicial branch

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

Political parties and leaders

Civil Will-Green Party or CWGP [Sanjaasuren OYUN, Sambuu DEMBEREL, Tserendorj GANKHUYAG]
Democratic Party or DP [Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD]
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]
New Labor Party or XYH [S. GANBAATAR]

Political pressure groups and leaders

other: human rights groups; women's rights groups; disability rights groups

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl GALT (since 5 October 2015)
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

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 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 - 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

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 disaste

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

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 defi

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$36.65 billion (2016 est.)
$36.64 billion (2015 est.)
$35.79 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.16 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

0% (2016 est.)
2.4% (2015 est.)
7.9% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$12,200 (2016 est.)
$12,300 (2015 est.)
$12,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

21.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 57.6%
government consumption: 12.1%
investment in fixed capital: 19.9%
investment in inventories: 7.4%
exports of goods and services: 40.1%
imports of goods and services: -37.1% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 14.6%
industry: 35.1%
services: 50.3% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

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

Industrial production growth rate

4.9% (2016 est.)

Labor force

1.164 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 28.6%
industry: 21%
services: 50.4% (2014)

Unemployment rate

8.3% (2015 est.)
4.8% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

21.6% (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 28.4% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

36.5 (2008)
32.8 (2002)


revenues: $2.868 billion
expenditures: $4.035 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

25.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-10.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

72% of GDP (31 September 2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.4% (2016 est.)
5.8% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

12% (14 January 2016 )
13% (15 January 2015)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

19.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
19.56% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$935 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$844.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$5.822 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.035 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$7.354 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.048 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$632.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$766.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.095 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.241 billion (2016 est.)
-$567 million (2015 est.)


$4.319 billion (2016 est.)
$4.619 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals, coal, crude oil

Exports - partners

China 84%, Switzerland 9% (2015)


$3.003 billion (2016 est.)
$3.512 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, cigarettes and tobacco, appliances, soap and detergent

Imports - partners

China 39.9%, Russia 28.4%, Japan 6.4%, South Korea 6.2% (2015)

Debt - external

$18.67 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.16 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$17.62 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$16.89 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$379.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$367.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

togrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar -
2,011 (2016 est.)
1,970.3 (2015 est.)
1,970.3 (2014 est.)
1,817.9 (2013 est.)
1,357.6 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 300,000
electrification - total population: 90%
electrification - urban areas: 98%
electrification - rural areas: 73% (2013)

Electricity - production

5.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

5.6 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

33 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

1.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

1 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

99.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

23,180 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

14,360 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

NA bbl 0 bbl

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

28,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

25,620 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

14 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 255,634
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 3.068 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 103 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

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-
domestic: very low fixed-line teledensity; there are multiple mobile-cellular providers and subscribership is increasing
international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7 (2015)

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 private radio and TV broadcasters, as well as multi-channel satellite and cable TV providers; more than 100 radio station (2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 642,000
percent of population: 21.4% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 541,129
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7,130,148 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

JU (2016)


44 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 15
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

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: 1,815 km
broad gauge: 1,815 km 1.520-m gauge
note: national operator Ulannbaator Railway is jointly owned by the Mongolian Government and by the Russian State Railway (2016)


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 ice free from May to September) (2010)

Merchant marine

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 branches

Mongolian Armed Forces (Mongol ulsyn zevsegt huchin): Mongolian Army, Mongolian Air Force (2016)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 1-year conscript service obligation in land or air forces or police for males only; after conscription, soldiers can contract into military service for 2 or 4 years; citizens can also voluntarily join the armed forces (2015)

Military expenditures

0.98% of GDP (2015)
1.12% of GDP (2012)
0.99% of GDP (2011)
1.12% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international