Mongolia is a landlocked country in eastern Asia bordered by China and the Russian Federation.
It has an area of 604,150 miles (1,565,000 kilometers).
The capital of Mongolia is Ulan Bator.
Most of Mongolia consists of high steppes.
Northwestern Mongolia contains the Altai mountains, home of the endangered snow leopard, as well as other mountain ranges. Various lakes can be found in between the mountains.
The Gobi desert is in southern Mongolia. This cold desert, which is characterized by bare rock surfaces, extends from central Asia, westward through southern Mongolia and then into China.
Mongolia has a population of 2.7 million, one fourth of whom live in Ulan Bator.
82% of the population are Khalkh. There are small Kazakh, Dorvod and Bayad minorities.
The official language is Khalkha Mongolian. Kazakh, Chinese and Russian are also spoken.
96% of the people are Tibetan Buddhist. The rest are Muslim.
Many of the people breed livestock. Very little of the land is cultivated.
The most important exports are textiles and copper.
The nomadic lifestyle of the Mongols has played an important role in Mongol culture.
Mongols often live in yurts. These are round tents covered in felt.
Tsagaan Sar, the New Year festival, usually takes place in January or February. During this time family and friends get together and exchange gifts.
Naadams, are important festivals where people compete at wrestling, archery and horse racing. The largest Naadam is held in Ulan Bator from July 11 to July 13.
In the thirteenth century, Mongolia was the heart of the Empire of Genghis Khan.
In the 17th century, most of the Mongol tribes were conquered by the Manchus of China, the founders of the Qing Dynasty.
The Qing Dynasty fell in 1911, and Mongolia declared its independence.
In 1919, the Republic of China occupied Mongolia.
After the Russian Civil War, Bolshevik Russia joined Mongolia in a fight for Mongolian independence.
Mongolia declared its independence once again in 1921.
In 1924, Mongolia declared itself a communist state, the Mongolian People's Republic.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, Mongolia moved to a market economy. and removed the words "People's Republic" from its official name.