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High Rates of Mobility

The expansion of the economy and the rapid growth of the urban, industrial, and service sectors made high rates of social mobility possible in the 1970s and the 1980s. Population growth, which accelerated in the late 1950s and peaked around 1970, was barely able to keep up with the expansion of positions in new factories, schools, and local government bodies. In the 1980s, most Mongolians worked in occupations different from those of their parents, who were almost universally herders. These conditions, however, were not expected to continue. Most of the cohort, born in the late 1950s and the 1960s, who secured skilled industrial, professional, and administrative jobs in the 1980s, will not retire until the 2020s. The even more numerous cohort born in the 1970s and the 1980s will find many desirable positions already filled by those ten to fifteen years older. If the rapid expansion of the economy, which has been fueled by extensive Soviet aid and investment, falters in the 1990s, then the generation born in the 1970s and the 1980s will not be able to match the mobility rates of their elders.

Last Update: 2010-12-07