General information: For a long time, Mongolia was a province of China; in 1921, with the support of Soviet Russia, it achieved independence. In 1924, the communist regime was established in it. In the first half of the 1990s the former communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) gradually lost its monopoly of power. In the 1996 general election, the Democratic Union (DUP) coalition defeated the MPRP and attempted a series of reforms aimed at modernizing the economy and rooting democratic institutions. However, the former communists formed a strong opposition that prevented additional reforms and made it difficult to implement them. In 2000, the MPRP won 72 out of 76 seats in parliament and completely replaced the composition of the government.
Location: Central Asia, between China and Russia. See franciscogardening.com to know more about Mongolia Geography.
Geographic coordinates: 46° 00′ N. latitude, 105° 00′ E
Reference map: Asia.
Area: total: 1,565 million square kilometers; land surface area: 1,565 million square kilometers; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Alaska.
Land borders: total: 8,161.9 km; with neighboring states: with China 4,676.9 km, with Russia 3,485 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: desert; continental (large fluctuations in daily and seasonal temperatures).
Relief: vast desert and semi-desert plains; mountains in the west and southwest; in the southeast, the Gobi desert.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Hoh Nur 518 m; highest point: Mount Tabyn-Bogdo-Ula 4,374 m.
Natural resources: oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, tungsten, fluorite, gold, silver, iron ore.
Land use: arable land: 5.7%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 81%; forests and plantations: 11.4%; others: 1.9% (2000 est.).
Irrigated land: 800 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: dust storms, steppe and forest fires, droughts followed by harsh winters.
Current environmental issues: limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; the policy of the former communist regime, which encouraged rapid urbanization and industrial growth, gave rise to problems of their negative impact on the environment; severe air pollution in the Ulaanbaatar area as a result of the burning of bituminous coal in power plants and the neglect of environmental laws; deforestation, overgrazing by livestock, the conversion of virgin lands into agricultural land contributes to soil erosion under the influence of wind and rain; desertification and mining also have a detrimental effect on the environment.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia.
Population: 2,654,999 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 32.99% (male 445,252; female 430,758); 15 to 64 years old: 63.13% (male 837,771; female 838,384); over 65: 3.88% (male 44,436; female 58,398) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.47% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 21.8 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.1 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1 male/female; over 65: 0.76 male/female; for the general population: 1 male/female. (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 53.5 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 64.26 years; men: 62.14 years; women: 66.5 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 2.39 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: less than 0.01% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Mongolian; adjective: Mongolian.
Ethnic groups: Mongols 85%, Turks (mostly Kazakhs) 7%, Tungus 4.6%, others (including Chinese and Russians) 3.4% (1998).
Believers: Lamaist Buddhists 96% Muslim (mostly in the southwest), shamanists and Christians 4% (1998).
Language(s): Khalkha-Mongolian 90%, Turkic languages, Russian.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 97.5%; men: 98%; women: 97% (2000).
Common long form: no;
conventional short form: Mongolia; local long form: no; local short form: Mongol Uls; former: Outer Mongolia.
State structure: republic.
Administrative division: 18 aimags and 3 cities* (hot): Arkhangay, Bayankhongor, Bayan-Ulgiy, Bulgan, Darkhan*, Dornod, Dornogov, Dundgov, Zavkhan, Erdenet*, Gov-Altai, Khentii, Khovd, Khuv-sgel, Umnegovi, Uverkhangai, Selenge, Sukhe-Bator, Tuva, Ulan-Bator*, Uve.
Independence: from July 11, 1921 (until 1921 – as part of China).
National holiday: Independence Day – Anniversary of the Revolution, July 11 (1921).
Constitution: adopted February 12, 1992.
Legal system: mixture of Russian, Chinese, Turkish and Western systems of law, combining elements of parliamentary and presidential systems of government; the constitution does not contain a clear indication of the possibility of judicial review of legislative acts; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
head of state: President Natsagiyn BAGABANDI (since 20 June 1997);
head of government: Prime Minister Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR (since 26 July 2000);
Government: the Cabinet of Ministers, formed by the State Great Khural in agreement with the President; elections: presidential candidates are nominated by the parties represented in the State Great Khural, then the president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term; elections last held 20 May 2001 (next to be held in May 2005); after parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the State Great Khural; elections last held 2 July 2000 (next to be held in 2004); election results: Natsagiin BAGHABANDI re-elected president; percentage of votes – no data; Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR was elected Prime Minister; distribution of votes in the State Great Khural: 68 against 3.
Legislative power: unicameral State Great Khural (76 seats; members of the chamber are elected by popular vote for 4 years); elections: last held 2 July 2000 (next to be held in July 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties – no data; allocation of seats – MPRP 72, others 4.
Judiciary: The Supreme Court, which serves as an appellate court for the people’s and provincial courts, but currently rarely changes lower court verdicts, judges are nominated by the General Council of Courts for approval by the president.
Political parties and leaders: Civil Will Party (Sanjasurengyn OYYN [Sanjaa-surengyn OYUN]); Democratic Party (DP) (DORLIGAN [D. DORLIGAN]); Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) (N. ENKHBAYAR, chairman); Mongolian New Democratic Socialist Party (MDNSP) (B. ERDENEBAT [V. ERDENEBAT]); Mongolian Republican Party (MRP) (B. ZHARGALSAIKHAN).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (observer), CCC, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Jalbuugiyn CHOINHOR; office: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007; phone:  (202) 333-7117; fax: [C (202) 298-9227; consulates general: New York.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador John DINGER; embassy: inner north side of the Grand Ring, Ulaanbaatar; postal address: c/o American Embassy Beijing, Micro Region 11, Big Ring Road, S. R. O. 1021, Ulaanbaatar 13; PSC 461, Box 300, FPO AP 96521-0002; phone:  (1) 329095; fax:  (1) 320776.
Flag Description: three equal-sized vertical stripes of red (pole side), blue and red; in the center of the red stripe near the side adjacent to the pole, the national emblem of yellow color is depicted (“soyombo” – a composition in the form of a column, in which fire, sun, moon, earth, water and a symbol of the fusion of yin and yang are presented in an abstract and geometric form).