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Mongolia Known as Outer Mongolia before 1911, Mongolia is struggling to establish its own identity. Now independent from Russia and China, the country still faces fearsome odds.
Population population: 2,650,952 [UK: 59,511,464] density:1.7 per sq km [UK: 243 per sq km] 90% Khalkh Mongolian 10% Buryat, Kazakh, Uygur There are also five million Mongolians in China. Population growth has been rapid in recent decades, and about 35 per cent of the population is under 15 years old. Nearly half the urban population lives in Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia is one of the worldÂs most sparsely populated countries.
Religions Shamanist/Animist 50% Lamaistic Buddhists 26% Non-religious/other 19% Muslim 4% Christian 0.3-0.4% Most Mongolians are animistic. Lamaistic Buddhism was vigorously suppressed by the Communists, but there has been a resurgence and monasteries have multiplied from one to more than 100 since 1990. Marxist ideology has been renounced and the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, with Buddhism, Islam and Shamanism regarded as the main religions.