Geography & Population in Mongolia

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With an area of more than 1.5 million square kilometres and a population of 2.38 million as of October 1997, Mongolia has a population density of only 1.5 people per square kilometre, one of the lowest in the world. The country has a relatively low growth rate of 1.6 per cent (1995), down from 2.5 per cent in 1989. At this rate, Mongolia's population will reach 2.5 million by the year 2000.

Despite the popular image of Mongolians as nomadic herders, it is an increasingly urbanized country -- 51.9 per cent of the population is urban, 48.1 per cent rural. More than one quarter of Mongolians live in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. The other major urban centres are Darhan (pop. 90,000) and Erdenet (pop.65,000).

The country is divided into 21 aimags (provinces), plus the autonomous capital region. The aimags are:

In the centre: Tov, Ovorhangai, Arhangai

In the north: Bulgan, Selenge, Hovsgol, Zavhan, Darhan-Uul, Orhon

In the east: Hentii, Dornod, Suhbaatar

In the west: Hovd, Uvs, Bayan-Olgii, Gov-Altai

In the south: Dundgov, Dornogov, Omnogov, Bayanhongor, Gobisumber

Environment—current issues

Limited natural fresh water resources; policies of the former communist regime promoting rapid urbanization and industrial growth have raised concerns about their negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal and the concentration of factories in Ulaanbaatar have severely polluted the air; deforestation, overgrazing, the converting of virgin land to agricultural production have increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification; mining activities have also had a deleterious effect on the environment.

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July 07, 2004 change by hpharmsen (1 point)

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