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Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


People and Society






The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAAN they established a huge Eurasian empire through conquest. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing and a Communist regime was installed in 1924. The modern country of Mongolia, however, represents only part of the Mongols' historical homeland; more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China than in Mongolia. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. The MPRP won an overwhelming majority in the 2000 parliamentary election, but the party lost seats in the 2004 election and shared power with democratic coalition parties from 2004-08. The MPRP regained a solid majority in the 2008 parliamentary elections but nevertheless formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party that lasted until January 2012. In 2010 the MPRP voted to retake the name of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), a name it used in the early 1920s.


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Northern Asia, between China and Russia

Geographic coordinates
46 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references

Area World Ranking: 19
Total 1,564,116 sq km
Land 1,553,556 sq km
Water 10,560 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Alaska

Land boundaries
Total 8,220 km
Border countries
China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims
None (landlocked)

Desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)

Vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Hoh Nuur 560 m
Highest point
Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m

Natural resources
Oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron

Land use
Arable land 0.76%
Permanent crops 0%
Other 99.24% (2005)

Irrigated land
840 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
34.8 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
Per capita 166 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Dust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions

Environment - current issues
Limited natural freshwater resources in some areas; the policies of former Communist regimes promoted rapid urbanization and industrial growth that had negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, and the converting of virgin land to agricultural production increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities had a deleterious effect on the environment

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia


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  Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar):

  GPS points from Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar)

Tsagaan Ondor Hentiy Aymag

Gory Aji Bogda Govi-altay Aymag

Kolodets Nudun-khuduk East Gobi Aymag

Galuut East Aimak

Hoho Habtsagaytayn Hovsgol Aymag

Burin Ula Mongolia (general)

Kolodets Ulusyn-khuduk Suhbaatar Aymag
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