Population in Mongolia
A little over 3 million people live in Mongolia on a state area of over 1.5 million km². With only 2 residents per km², Mongolia is therefore one of the most sparsely populated areas on the continent inhabited by humans. After the population development experienced an increase of over 100% in the 1950s to 1990s due to the growth-oriented policy of the socialist People’s Republic, fertility fell abruptly with the introduction of the free market economy. The annual population growth is now estimated at less than 1.3%. According to directoryaah, about 85% of the population belong to the Mongol tribe, who have emerged from various Turkic peoples since the 8th century and today mainly differ only in their language dialect. Minorities of other Turkic peoples, like Kazakhs and Tuvins live mainly in western Mongolia. In addition, immigrant Russians and Han mainly work in the cities or as specialists in mining. Traditionally and due to the extreme climate and soil conditions, the Mongols, who are mostly active in the cattle industry, lead a nomadic way of life outside of the larger cities. The Chalcha-Mongolian language as the most important of the Mongolian language dialects is used by most Mongols as a colloquial and mother tongue. The remaining minorities in western Mongolia mainly speak Kazakh or Tuvin and various other Turkish languages. For a long time during socialism, Russian was the first foreign language to be learned in Mongolian schools. Since 2005, English has been taught instead as the official first foreign language, so that sufficient communication in English can be expected on a trip through Mongolia. About 1% of the Mongols also understand the German language. Starting from shamanism, the original religion of the Central Asian steppe residents, many elements of this religion were adopted in the Tibetan Buddhism that is predominant among the Mongolian population today.
Christianity has never been of great importance in Mongolia. Only the so-called Nestorians formed a Christian minority in historical times. At the beginning of the 20th century there were vigorous attempts at proselytizing by European and American priests, but they were deported by the Soviets during the Socialist People’s Republic. With the end of socialism, especially evangelical missionaries returned. According to surveys, up to 7% of the population describe themselves as Christians, but presumably mean less religion than the associated high standard of living in the Christian countries of origin.
Politics and economics in Mongolia
According to the constitution based on the French model, which came into force in 1992, with the basic values of democracy, justice, freedom, equality, national unity and respect for the law, Mongolia is a parliamentary democracy. The basic values of the state are democracy, justice, freedom, equality, national unity and respect for the law. The unicameral parliament, known as the state Chural, has 76 members and is elected every four years. The state president is also directly elected for four years with a one-time extension and is also head of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and chairman of the national security council. The judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches and is exercised and supervised by the Supreme Court of last resort.
According to ebizdir, economically, Mongolia has made a slow transition from a central economy to a market economy, but is still largely oriented towards the agricultural sector. From 2003, after a long period of stagnation, Mongolia’s economic growth rose to 17% in 2011, which can be attributed to the increase in the service industry and rising raw material prices for copper and gold. Copper is the main export product of Mongolia, which is extracted in the fourth largest copper mine in the world in the Burengiin Mountains. Currently (2017) GDP growth is leveling off at just under 5%. However, the growth in recent years has bypassed the poor part of the population. Around 40% of the population live below the extreme poverty line as they did at the end of the economy. The difficult years of reform increased the share of the private sector to 80%, but widened the social differences and the urban-rural divide. Due to the extreme climatic differences and difficult soil conditions, most agricultural products are products of animal husbandry, such as meat, wool, milk, hides and leather.
Although there are considerable mineral resources of coal, copper, uranium, crude oil, gold, silver, fluorspar, molybdenum, zinc and diamonds in Mongolia, only a third of these have been explored to this day. However, increasing activities and corresponding economic growth in mining are expected in the coming years.
Transport network in Mongolia
Of the 6,500 km of paved road that comprised the Mongolian road network in 2007, only less than half were paved and most of the smaller towns can still only be reached via dirt roads. However, high investments are to flow into road traffic in the coming years in order to improve the road network. The provincial capitals in particular are connected to the capital by paved roads. Private buses and minibuses are the main way to travel around the country.
The Trans-Mongolian Railway comprises the main part of the approx. 2000 km long railway network of Mongolia, which is mainly used for the transport of goods. The railroad runs across Mongolia from the border with Russia to the border with China and is part of the connection from Moscow to Beijing. In addition to the capital Ulaanbaatar, important industrial cities such as Erdenet, Darchan and Baganuur are connected to the Trans-Mongolian railway line. Tschoibalsan is connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway near Borsja by one line, but has no railway connection within Mongolia. Further railway lines such as a connection from Sainschand to the industrial city of Tschoibalsan and a coal railway from Uchaa Chudag to the Chinese border are planned to develop important coal and ore deposits.
The only international airport in the country that offers itself as a starting or end point for a journey through Mongolia is Chinggis Khaan International Airport, which is located about 15 km from the capital Ulaanbaatar. From here there are regular flight connections with Frankfurt, Berlin, Istanbul and Moscow as well as with Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo and other important cities in Asia.