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Vital Rates

Mongolia's population is sparsely distributed, young, and increasing rapidly. With an estimated midyear 1989 population of 2,125,463, the average population density was 1.36 people per square kilometer.

Population Density, 1986.
Source: Based on information from Mongolian People's Republic, Central Statistical Board, National Economy of the Mongolian People's Republic for 65 Years, 1921-1966, Ulaanbaatar, 1986, 83-84.

The annual growth rate was about 2.7 percent, which, if sustained, would double the population in 27 years. The rate of natural increase was the result of high birthrates and of death rates that were relatively low by world standards. Mongolia does not publish figures for infant mortality, but estimates in the late 1980s ranged between 49 and 53 per 1,000 birth. The population's sex ratio was nearly even, with official 1986 figures showing 50.1 percent of the total population as male and 49.9 percent as female.

Such high population growth was one of the most striking examples of the profound transformation of traditional Mongolian society. The high growth rate dated only to the late 1950s, when the effects of improved public health and medical services were reflected in sharply reduced death rates. Despite a growth rate of under 3 percent, government statistics claimed that the population doubled between 1963 and 1988. The rate of population increase had peaked in 1960 at 3.27 percent, but it had declined to about 2.7 percent by 1989. Such a quickly growing population was necessarily a young population. In 1988 population experts in a World Bank publication projected that by 1990 72 percent of Mongolia's population would be 14 years' old and younger.

Population Statistics, Selected Years, 1918-89

YearEstimated PopulationCrude Birth RateCrude Death RateRate of Natural Increase
(per thousand)(per thousand)(per thousand)
n.a. - not available.
Source: Based on information from Mongolia, Central Statistical Board, National Economy of the MPR for 65 Years, 1921- 1986, Ulaanbaatar, 1986, 79-80; United States, Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Center for International Research, World Population Profile, 1987, Washington, 1987, 292; and K.C. Zachariah and My T. Vu, World Population Projections: 1978-88 Edition, Baltimore, 1988, 282.

Last Update: 2010-12-07