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Mongolian total population is around 2.7 million as of 2010. About 59% of the total population is under age 30, 27% of whom are under 14. This relatively young and growing population has placed strains on Mongolia's economy. There many ethnic groups in Mongolia and Khalkha make up 90% of the ethnic Mongol population. The remaining 10% consists of Kazakhs in the west, Buryats, Durbet Mongols and others in the north and Dariganga Mongols in the east. They are distinguished primarily by the dialects of Mongolian language.


The official language of Mongolia is Khalkha Mongolian, and is spoken by 90% of the population. A variety of dialects of Oirat and Buryat are spoken across the country, and there are also some speakers of Mongolic Khamnigan. In the west of the country, Kazakh and Tuvan, both Turkic languages, are also spoken. Today, Mongolian is written using the Cyrillic alphabet, although in the past it was written using the Mongolian script. An official reintroduction of the old script was planned for 1994, but has not yet taken place as older generation's encountered practical difficulties. The traditional alphabet is being slowly reintroduced through schools. The Russian language is the most frequently spoken foreign language in Mongolia, followed by English, though English has been gradually replacing Russian as the second language. Korean has gained popularity as tens of thousands of Mongolians work in South Korea. Interest in Chinese, as the language of the other neighbouring power, has been growing. Japanese is also popular among the younger people. A number of older educated Mongolians speak some German, as they studied in the former East Germany, while a few speak other languages from the former Eastern Bloc. Besides that, many younger Mongolians are fluent in the Western European languages as they study or work in foreign countries including Germany, France and Italy. Deaf people in Mongolia use Mongolian Sign Language.


Mongolian and southern Siberian shamanism originated in the time of Stone Age hunters and in the time of Bronze Age herdsmen, developing from this ancient culture into the spirituality of the Mongols today. The steppe dwelling peoples of Eurasia worship Eternal Heaven (Munkh Tenger) above and Mother Earth (Etugan) below, as well as the ancestral and nature spirits. The cosmology of Mongolian shamanism and its eight customary rituals is based on the view that besides the visible world the shaman interacts with many other worlds or universes, and that contacting the spirits is an important part of shamans' work. A person didn't choose the profession of shaman but was selected for the job by a messenger from the spirit world. The arrival of this representative was usually announced by the chosen person%u2019s falling seriously ill or suffering hallucinations. A shaman, called in to cure the sick person, would pronounce the patient possessed by a spirit, indicating that he or she had been chosen to be a shaman. A mountain or tree of great majesty will be said to have suld, which is the same word that is used to refer to the soul which remains in nature after death. Unusual rocks or trees are believed to have a strong spirit and are respected or given offerings of tobacco or liquor. Mountain spirits are considered to be very powerful, and are prayed to in order to provide good hunting and abundance of natural food plants. These ceremonies are usually held roughly around the times of the equinoxes and solstices and are usually performed by the elders of the local clan or tribe. Mountain spirits and other powerful Gazriin Ezen are worshipped at special shrines called ovoo, which are tall piles of rocks and tree branches, roughly conical in diameter. Ovoo (hill), heap or cairn, is the equivalent of a shaman's shrine (altar). This is a heap of bones or stone formed by man. They would be inhabited by spirits of the locality, local deities of the Mongolian people. When passing by an ovoo, travellers are required to walk around it three times (clockwise) and place a rock on it. By doing this, they symbolically add to the spirit's power, as by adding the rock he receives energy for his windhorse (personal psychic power) and good luck for his journey.


During the state socialist period, education was one of the areas of significant achievement in Mongolia. Illiteracy was virtually eliminated, in part through the use of seasonal boarding schools for children of nomadic families. Funding to these boarding schools was cut in the 1990s, contributing to slightly increased illiteracy.

Primary and secondary education formerly lasted 10 years, but was expanded to 11 years. Since the 2008-2009 school year, new first graders are using the 12 year system. As such, full transition to the 12-year system will not happen until the 2019-2020 school year, when the current third graders graduate. Mongolian national universities are all spin-offs from the National University of Mongolia and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. The broad liberalization of the 1990s led to a boom in private institutions of higher education, although many of these establishments have difficulty living up to their name of "college" or "university".


Since 1990, key health indicators like life expectancy and infant and child mortality have steadily improved, both due to social changes and to improvement in the health sector. However, serious problems remain, especially in the countryside. Average childbirth (fertility rate) is around 2.25 - 1.87 per woman (2007) and average life expectancy is 67-68 years. Infant mortality is at 1.9%-4% and child mortality is at 4.3%. The health sector comprises 17 specialized hospitals and centers, 4 regional diagnostic and treatment centers, 9 district and 21 aimag (province) general hospitals, 323 soum (district) hospitals, 233 family group practices, and 536 private hospitals and 57 drug supply companies/pharmacies. In 2002 the total number of health workers was 33,273, of which 6823 were doctors, 788 pharmacists, 7802 nurses, and 14,091 mid-level personnel. At present, there are 27.7 physicians and 75.7 hospital beds per 10,000 inhabitants.