For almost two years, Kiva has been working with field partners in Mongolia! This month we will be highlighting our partners and clients in the country through the Passport Series. Mongolia is a country in Northern Asia surrounded by Russia and China. It is slightly smaller than Alaska and has a population around 3 million.
Mongolians are traditionally nomadic families who live in "gers" (circular structures, built out of felt that are easily constructed, deconstructed, and moved). However, 57% of the total population now live in urban settings. Their official language is Khalkha Mongol. The country has a very high literacy rate (almost 98%!), and a country-wide average of 14 years of education with 99% of the population completing elementary school. Mongolia's per capita GDP is around $3,100, yet 36.1% of the population live below the poverty line. Half of the population have cell phones and about 10% are internet users.
The government runs on a parliamentary system and received their independence from China in 1921 and wrote a constitution in 1992.
Women in Mongolia traditionally receive a high social status. Women account for 49% of the formal labor force, and over half of those in university education!
Photo Credit: Kate Borkowski