Mongolia is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the North and China to the South, East and West. Ulan Bator, the capital and also the largest city, is home to about 45% of the population. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by steppes, with mountains to the North and West and the Gobi Desert to the South.
The center of the medieval Mongol empire, Mongolia subsequently became a Chinese province and achieved de facto independence in 1911. In 1924, it became a communist state patterned on the Soviet model; a new democratic constitution was introduced in 1992. It was formerly known as Outer Mongolia to distinguish it from Inner Mongolia, which remains a province of China.