Mongolia People, Population, Religion and Nationality


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Mongolia People

Browse the information below for demographic information on Mongolia, including population, religion, nationality and more. If you do not find the Mongolia information you need on the people page, check out our complete listing on the Mongolia Country Page.

  • Mongolia Geography
  • Mongolia Government
  • Mongolia Economy
  • Mongolia History

    Nationality: Noun and adjective--Mongolian(s).
    Population (mid-2000): 2.65 million.
    Annual growth rate (2000): 1.54%.
    Health (2000): Infant mortality rate--41.2/1,000. Life expectancy--67.25 yrs.
    Ethnic groups (1995): 85% Mongol (predominantly Khalkha), 7% Turkic (largest group, Kazakh) 4.6% Tungusic, and 3.4% others, including Chinese and Russian. Languages: Khalkha Mongol, more than 90%; minor languages include Kazakh, Chinese, and Russian.
    Religions: Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism 96%, Muslim 4% (primarily in the southwest), and Shamanism.
    Education: Years compulsory--8 (provided free by the government). Literacy--more than 85%.

    People of Mongolia
    Life in sparsely populated Mongolia has become more urbanized. Nearly half of the people live in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and in other provincial centers. Seminomadic life still predominates in the countryside, but settled agricultural communities are becoming more common. Mongolia's birth rate is estimated at 1.4% (2000 census). About two-thirds of the total population are under age 30, 36% of whom are under 14.

    Ethnic Mongols account for about 85% of the population and consist of Khalkha and other groups, all distinguished primarily by dialects of the Mongol language. Mongol is an Altaic language--from the Altaic Mountains of Central Asia, a language family comprising the Turkic, Tungusic, and Mongolic subfamilies--and is related to Turkic (Uzbek, Turkish, and Kazakh), Korean, and, possibly, Japanese. The Khalkha make up 90% of the ethnic Mongol population. The remaining 10% include Durbet Mongols and others in the north and Dariganga Mongols in the east. Turkic speakers (Kazakhs, Turvins, and Khotans) constitute 7% of Mongolia's population, and the rest are Tungusic-speakers, Chinese, and Russians. Most Russians left the country following the withdrawal of economic aid and collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    Traditionally, Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism was the predominant religion. However, it was suppressed under the communist regime until 1990, with only one showcase monastery allowed to remain. Since 1990, as liberalization began, Buddhism has enjoyed a resurgence. About 4 million Mongols live outside Mongolia; about 3.4 million live in China, mainly in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and some 500,000 live in Russia, primarily in Buryatia and Kalmykia.


  • Mongolia Geography
  • Mongolia Government
  • Mongolia Economy
  • Mongolia History