Facts & Figures

That might interest you

Mongolia is located centrally on the Asian continent and holds 7.678 kms of border with its two large neighbours: Russia and China. The country was immeasurably bigger during the period of the Mongol conquest under Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan. Until the 20th century Mongolia was twice its current size and included a large chunk of Siberia and Inner Mongolia (now controlled by China).

Mongolia covers an area of 1.57 million square kms - nearly 3 times the size of France and more than 4 times the size of the United Kingdom. Mongolia is the 6th largest country in Asia and the 18th largest country in the world.

 


Mongolia is one of the highest countries in the world with one of Eurasia's highest capitals. Average altitude: 1.580 metres above sea level. The capital Ulaanbaatar: 1.350 m above sea level. The highest point is the Huiten Peak (4.653m) in the west and the lowest is the Khokh Nuur lake depression in the east (532m).

The high central Asian mountain ranges surrounding Mongolia on practically all sides form a barrier against the humid air coming from the Atlantic and the Pacific, thus establishing a continental climate in Mongolia. The typical climatic features are sharp temperature fluctuations (daily temperatures may fluctuate by 20-30C!). The coldest month is January, when, in some regions (like the northern part of the Khuvsgul Aimag) the temperature may drop until as far as -52C. The hottest month is July. On the greater part of the Mongolian territory the air temperature rises to +20C; in the south +25/+30C. On the whole, the Mongolian climate is rather arid: the annual precipitation is 200-300mm, of which 80 to 90% falls within five months (May - September). Therefore, the country receives little snow in winter, although snow blizzards rarely do occur. However, July and August boast sufficient rain to make the rivers swell. Furthermore, Mongolia is the land of winds and especially sharp winds blow in spring. In the Gobi and steppe areas winds often develop into devastating storms, reaching a velocity of 15-25 metres per second. Ulaanbaatar is the coldest winter capital in the world, but enjoys a hot summer as Mongolia is a remarkably sunny country with 250 sunny days per year!

 


At present, the population of Mongolia is 2.8 million, with an annual population growth of around 3,0%. Two-thirds of the population is younger than 30. Much of the population growth has been absorbed in urban areas. The present urban population is over 1.5 million. With just over one million inhabitants, Ulaanbaatar houses almost more than a third of Mongolia's population. However, a significant part of the urban population still lives in ger (traditional housing) habitations in town peripheries. The population density of Mongolia is extremely low: just over 1 person per square km.

 


Mountains dominate two-third of the country. Mongolia's highest peaks are permanently capped with snow and glaciers. Mongolia has about 2.000 lakes. The largest rivers exit the country northwards to feed Lake Baikal in Siberia. The mountainous areas include relatively wet mountain meadow pastures and steppe regions. In contrast, southern Mongolia is dominated by the huge Gobi Desert. Nearly 10% of Mongolia is forest, mainly conifers in the northern region next to Siberia.

Mongolia's forests supports wolves, boars, elks, moose, deer, caribous, antelopes and brown bears. The steppes and forest margins supports marmots, muskrats, foxes, steppe foxes and sables. The remote parts of the mountains are home to wild cats such as the lynx and snow leopard. Mongolia has many wild camels, yaks and sheep and one can also spot nocturnal yellow gobi bears. The wild horse (takhi) is being re-introduced from captive herds abroad. Nowadays, Mongolia approximately has as many horses as people! Bird life is rich and includes the golden eagle, bearded vulture and other birds of prey. The 2.000 lakes are a magnet for water birds such as storks, herring gull and relict gulls. The lakes support 50 species of fish that are unique to Mongolia.

85% Mongol, 7% Turkic (mainly Kazakh), 4,6% Tungusic and 3,4% others. Four million Mongols live outside Mongolia.

The Mongolian language ('Khalkha Mongol') is the first language, spoken by 90% of population. Its script is Cyrillic due to Russian influence, however a switchback to traditional script is now taking place in schools. Second language, Russian, is spoken by most graduates, as many Mongolians were formerly educated in Russia.

94% Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism, also elements of Shamanism. 6% Muslim, mainly in the south-west. The government of Mongolia has a parliamentary type of government, with the President second in authority to state Great Hural (Parliament).

 


The Mongolian currency is the Tugrik (T/Tg or MNT). Its value is subject to constant fluctuation. Roughly, there are around 1.650 Tg in one Euro. For the actual currency rate, click here. Banknotes are valued 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1.000, 5.000, 10.000 and 20.000 Tg, of which the smallest notes are hardly used.