In 1990, Mongolia abandoned its 70-year-old Soviet-style one-party system in favour of political and economic reforms and multiparty elections.
Vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth have made it a target for foreign investors, transforming the country’s tiny but fast-growing economy. This rapid change has taken place against a backdrop of political wrangling and government pledges to tighten control over the country’s assets.
Once the heartland of an empire stretching to Europe under Genghis Khan, Mongolia is a landlocked country dominated by sparsely populated steppe and semi-desert.
A third of the population lives in the capital, while around 40% of the country’s workforce is nomadic, herding livestock in the extensive pasturelands.
- Capital: Ulan Bator
- Population 2.8 million (2012)
- Area 1.56 million sq km (603,909 sq miles)
- Major language Mongolian
- Major religion Buddhism
- Life expectancy 65 years (men), 73 years (women)
- Currency Togrog