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Mongolia

Updated by Victoria Giroud-Castiella , Amgalan Lkhagvademberel , Celine Peyron Bista on 16.06.2016

Mongolia is a transition economy that has witnessed significant economic progress in recent years. GDP growth averaged nearly 9 per cent annually in 2004-08 largely backed by high copper price and new gold production. Recovering quickly from the global financial crisis in 2008-09, the economy recorded double digit growth in the following three years. This remarkable growth record has contributed to poverty alleviation, reducing the poor (living below the poverty line) from 38.7 per cent of population in 2010 to 27.4 per cent in 2012.

The economy is still concentrated in only few sectors. Mineral commodities account for about 80 per cent of national exports and mining provides around 40 per cent of total government revenue. High dependence on mining revenues exposes the country to fluctuations in the external environment and the benefits of economic growth have not been equitable distributed across the population. Mongolia’s total population as of May 2015 stands at just over 3 million.  

Before the transition to a market economy, social services such as medical care, pensions and disability insurance and maternity benefits were fully State-funded and provided social benefits and services to everyone. During the transition period the vulnerable groups of the society such as elderly, people with disabilities, orphans and individuals with low education and skills were the most affected by the adverse effects of transitional reforms. In the process of privatization many workers, including herders, found employment opportunities only in the informal economy.  Consequently, main forms of employment are herding, self-employment and informal employment (55.7 per cent of the economically active population in 2013). According to the National Statistical Office the unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent in 2013. 

Before the transition to a market economy, social services such as medical care, pensions and disability insurance and maternity benefits were fully State-funded and provided social benefits and services to everyone. During the transition period the vulnerable groups of the society such as elderly, people with disabilities, orphans and individuals with low education and skills were the most affected by the adverse effects of transitional reforms. In the process of privatization many workers, including herders, found employment opportunities only in the informal economy.  Consequently, main forms of employment are herding, self-employment and informal employment (55.7 per cent of the economically active population in 2013). According to the National Statistical Office the unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent in 2013.