- About mongolia
- Mongolia steppe
Mongolia has a population of approximately 3 million (the rest are minority peoples in China and the Soviet Union), population density is only 3.6 persons per square mile. The population is split between urban and rural dwellers. Except for a concentration of 1,000,000 people in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, the rest of the population is sparsely distributed in rural urban areas in the vast countryside. The most of the population is young and growing rapidly. About 82 percent of the population, however, is of the Khalkh ethnic group, making the nation extremely homogeneous; in the western part of the country, the largest ethnic groups are the Kazakh (5 percent), the Uriankhai-Tuva, the Tsaatan and the Khoton. Descendants of the Oirad speak a slightly different dialect of Mongolian. They are subdivided into several ethnic groups: the Bayad (2.1 percent), the Durvud (2.8 percent), the Zakhchin, Myangat, Uuld and the Torguud. The Buryad represent 1.7 percent of the population. Among the other groups are the Dariganga (1.3 percent) in the south-east of the country, as well as the Uzemchin and Barga in the west. Based on Mongolia's history, particularly the tales of Chinggis Khan, visitors sometimes expect modern Mongolians to be rough, warlike, or even hostile towards strangers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The precarious and challenging nature of nomadic life has in fact shaped the need for the unique hospitality and genuine warmth extended to all travelers and pilgrims in Mongolia. Mongolians instinctively understand that the courtesy and welcome offered to a stranger today will surely be returned in the future. This concept is at the very root of Mongolia's centuries-old culture.