Some basic statistics and other data

Much of the data here is taken from the 2003 Mongolian Statistical Yearbook (published in 2004). Others parts are from the UN's Human Development Report Mongolia 2003. The rest of it has been dredged from the depths of my own mind. I'll eventually put it into a table form or some such, but figured I'd put up the basics now.

The official name of the country in English is simply "Mongolia." It is not "The Republic of Mongolia," as you will many times see it on the web. This is simply wrong, and there's no way to get that from the name in Mongolian: Mongol uls, (Монгол улс) where uls means "country" or "state."

The current population of Mongolia 2,504,000. Of this, 893,400 live in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. Of course, this are the official numbers, and the actual number of residents in Ulaanbaatar is quite a bit higher. Mongolia also has a very young population. Of the total population, 1,110,300 (or 44%) are 19 or younger. The number jumps to 1,376,440 (or 55% of the total population) if you include everyone under the age of 25.

Mongolia is divided into 21 aimags (provinces), and the capital city. Three of the aimags are actually cities, but were given autonomous status for a variety of reasons.

The government is democratic, with an elected parliament known as the Ih Hural, which has 76 members. They in turn appoint the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister wields the real power in terms of running the country. The parliamentary elections are held every four years, and were last held in June, 2004. The country also has a President, who is supposed to be a unifying figure who represents all of the people. He seems mainly to attend cultural events and meet foreign dignitaries. The current president N. Bagabandi, was elected in 1997 and re-elected in 2001. As a result, he will be unable to run for re-election during the presidential elections in 2005.

Economic and social measurements are very problematical in Mongolia for a number of reasons that I won't get into here. However, while the 2003 Statistical Yearbook claims an unemployment rate of 3.5% in 2003, and 4.6% in 2000, the UN points out that the 2000 census in Mongolia reported a total unemployment rate of 17.5%.

Poverty rates are similarly difficult to find, and given the nature of nomadic pastoralism, difficult to provide in a meaningful way across the board in Mongolia. With those caveats in mind, however, the UN reported an "income poverty rate" of 35.6% in 1998. This figure is unlikely to have changed much.

Despite the outsider's perception of uniformity, there are a large number ethnic groups in Mongolia. (Off the top of my head, I think the number is over 20, but I can't remember if this includes just Mongolia, or the groups in Inner Mongolia as well. I'll check soon.) The single largest group, the Halh (sometimes written as Khalkha) comprise about 80% of the population. There is no real ethnic unrest or tension in Mongolia, although ethnicity at times can and does play a role in politics and other areas.

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