Nearly 95% of the population is comprised of ethnic Mongols, consisting of the Khalkha and other groups distinguished by dialects of the language. The Khalkha people make up 86% of the ethnic Mongols in the country, and the remaining 14% is comprised of Oirats, Buryats and a few others. Turkic people account for 4.5% of the population, with the remaining 0.5% being people of Russia, Chinese, Korea and the United States.
The official language of the country is Mongolian, which is spoken by approximately 95% of the population. The population of the country as a whole is relatively young, with the average age being 27.5 years. About 59% of Mongolia's residents are under the age of 30, while over a quarter of that population is under the age of 14. The young population, coupled with a growth rate of 1.31%, has put a strain on the country's economy.
Mongolia Religion, Economy and Politics
Mongolia is a religiously free and diverse country with several of the world's major religions having a presence. By far the most prevalent is Buddhism, which claims 53.2% of the population. Buddhism was brought the country in the 1200s by the Yuan dynasty. The Buddhists of Mongolia have had an increased interest in their religion in recent years with increased attendance at temples and a strong interest in meditation within the public at large. Atheists and agnostics make up the second-largest group with 38.4% of the population. Christianity, Mongolian Shamanism, and Islam all makeup between an additional 2-3% of the population.
In the years since Mongolia became a democracy, the economy has been flourishing compared to what it once was. The GDP has tripled in the past 25 years and there has been a dramatic increase in the quality of education and medical practices in the country. Mongolia has many natural resources and the mining of copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold make up a good portion of the country's industry. Banking in Mongolia is fairly monopolized between five major banks that hold nearly all of the country's assets.
Mongolia Population History
Mongol tribes were united and Genghis Khan set out to conquer the region to create the world's largest empire in the 13th century. Khan's reign was short-lived, and Ming troops removed Mongols from Dadu, a city which is modern-day Beijing by 1368. Inner Mongolia was created in 1636 after the Qing empire conquered southern Mongols. Outer Mongolia was created in 1691 when the empire offered protection to northern Mongols.
The Qing Empire fell in 1911, and Outer Mongolia declared its independence, which was quickly occupied by the Chinese army. In 1921, with help from the Soviets, Mongolians were able to drive out Chinese forces to create the "people's government," which was a politically correct way of saying they were forming a socialist government. Japanese and Manchukuo forces invaded the area in 1939 but were defeated by the Mongolians and Soviets in the Battle of Halhyn Gol.
Political parties were not legalized in Mongolia until 1990 when a new constitution was written calling for basic human rights and freedoms; Democratic elections followed shortly afterward. Five died and hundreds were injured in politically charged riots in 2008. Extreme cold in 2010 killed a huge amount of livestock, creating food shortages and forcing civilians to clean and collect carcasses to maintain sanitary living conditions.