Mongolia Facts

Mongolia Facts and History


Mongolia, often referred to as “Outer Mongolia” in contrast to the autonomous region of “Inner Mongolia” in China, is the most sparsely populated country in the world. It is interesting that there are the largest number of horses in relation to the population, so there are about three horses for each Mongol.

Mongolia is often referred to by the locals as the “raw egg” that lies between China and Russia.

Around 40% of the Mongols are still nomads, and so a large part of the nomad people still live in yurts today, even in the capital Ulan Bator there are many felt tents.

The hospitable country of the Mongols is a popular attraction for tourists, who can experience the pristine steppe landscape, deserts and salt flats, but also mountain regions with idyllic lakes. The northern part of the country is also the most distant piece of earth in the world from the sea. In the south there is the Gobi desert with its numerous sites of paleontological fossils, here about a third of all known saurians have been discovered.

Mongolia is one of the most resource-rich countries on earth. Here you can find “rare earths”, which play a very important role in the manufacture of cell phones.

Name of the country Mongolia, Mongolian: Mongol Uls
Form of government republic
Geographical location Central Asia
National anthem Bügd Nairamdach Mongol (Democratic Mongolian Republic)
Population about 2.8 million (Credit: Countryaah: Mongolia Population)
Ethnicities approx. 94% Mongols, 4.3% Kazakhs, 1.1% Tuvinians
Religions approx. 50% Tibetan Buddhists, 40% non-denominational, 6% Christians and 4% Muslims
Languages Mongolian (93%) is the official language of the country, furthermore Kazakh (4.3%) as well as Russian and some English
Capital Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar)
Surface 1,566,500 km²
Highest mountain Hüyten Uul with a height of 4,374 m
Longest river Selenga with a length of 1,024 km
Largest lake Uvs Nuur Lake with an area of 3,350 km²
International license plate MNG
National currency 1 tugrug = 100 mungh
Time difference to CET Western Mongolia: + 6 h, Central Mongolia: + 7 h, Eastern Mongolia: + 8 h
International phone code 00976
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts, 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .mn

Mongolia: history

Before the year 1000

A first demonstrable settlement of the territory of today’s Mongolia took place about 500,000 years ago and was proven by archaeological finds that come from the Gobi desert, among others.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, due to the inhospitable climatic conditions with the extreme temperature fluctuations and the low precipitation, no arable farming and therefore hardly any sedentary lifestyle could develop in the region. The nomads, who predominantly raised horses and sheep, lived in smaller groups and were forced to constantly change locations due to pasture farming. They used to attack and rob their neighbors from time immemorial, especially in bad economic times. Due to the constantly changing subjugation of the individual groups by the victorious tribal princes (khans), there was a mixture of the various ethnic groups of Mongolian, Hunnic, Turkish, Indo-European, Tibetan and Tungus origin living in the area.

From the year 1000 to the 19th century

In the Middle Ages, Genghis Khan (around 1160 to 1227) established a world empire after the unification of the Mongolian nomad tribes, which included northern China and which stretched from the Caspian Sea in the east to the Sea of Japan in the west and that under his successors to the largest contiguous empire of the whole Human history expanded.

The Mongolian state was founded in 1206. His son Ugedai Khan even penetrated as far as Central Europe in 1240/41. In 1271, Kublai Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan, established the Yuan Dynasty in China, which lasted until 1368. He also introduced Buddhism as the Mongolian state religion and had Tibet administered by Buddhist monks.

After his death, the Mongol Empire finally collapsed into four independent sub-kingdoms:

– that of the Golden Horde on the Volga (Eastern Europe, Western Siberia and today’s Turkey)

– the Persian Ilkhanate

– the Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia west of what is now Mongolian territory

– the Yuan Empire, which was mainly located in what is now Mongolia and China.

In the middle of the 14th century the Mongols were driven out of Beijing again. In 1368 the Ming dynasty took power in China and in 1388 the former Mongolian capital Karakorum was destroyed. To secure their northern border, the Chinese began building the Great Wall in the 14th century, which lasted until the 17th century. From the beginning of the 17th century, Lamaist Buddhism was increasingly spread in Mongolia. In 1663 the so-called Inner Mongolia was occupied by the Manchurian tribes. From 1691 the Manchurian Quing dynasty also took control of what is now Mongolia.

In the 20th century

In 1911, after the Xinhai Revolution in China, Mongolia gained independence. Head of state was the Buddhist Lama Djebtsandampa under the title Boghdo Geghen Khan, who ruled with a brief interruption until his death in 1924. In the meantime, the country was again conquered by the Chinese, followed by a reconquest with the help of those who had been displaced from Russia by the revolution White Guards. These were led by General Robert von Ungern-Sternberg (executed in 1921), who rose to be the dictator of the country.

The Bolsheviks, who had meanwhile also asserted themselves in Siberia, then penetrated Mongolia and on November 26, 1924, the Mongolian People’s Republic was proclaimed there based on the Soviet model, although it was not recognized by China until 1946. The Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MRVP) was formed, which from then on provided government as the communist unity party. The influence of the Soviet leadership caused, among other things, an extensive destruction of traditional nomadic livestock farming, which caused major economic problems. About 38,000 Mongols fell victim to the Stalinist purges of 1937/38, including a large part of the country’s intelligentsia and about 18,000 Buddhist monks.

The country’s Buddhist monasteries with their valuable cultural assets and libraries were almost completely destroyed.

From 1990 onwards, in the wake of the upheavals in Eastern Europe, there was also a political turnaround in Mongolia. Free elections were held for the first time. The economy was also oriented towards the market.

The new constitution was passed in 1992. In 1999 Mongolia was hit by a devastating drought and then an extremely cold winter, both of which had disastrous effects on agriculture. Despite foreign aid, the country’s population still suffers from poverty, unemployment and, unfortunately, from corruption.

In the elections in 2000, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party won almost all of the seats in parliament, and a coalition of MRVP and a party alliance has been in power since 2004.

In the parliamentary elections on June 29, 2008, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party won 50 and the Democratic Party of Mongolia 25 of the total of 76 seats in parliament. As a result, the ruling People’s Party was accused of election fraud and fraud.

As a result, on July 2, 2008 serious clashes broke out in Ulan Bator, as a result of which around 6 people died and even President Nambariin Enkhbayar declared a state of emergency.

Despite rapid economic growth in 2008, over a third of the people at that time were still living below the poverty line.

Mongolia Facts