A large and sparsely populated country of East Asia, bordered by Siberian Russia and China; population 3,000,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Mongolian; capital, Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator).
The Gobi Desert occupies much of the southern half of the country. The centre of the medieval Mongol empire, Mongolia subsequently became a Chinese province, achieving de facto independence in 1911. In 1924 it became a communist state after the Soviet model; a new democratic constitution was introduced in 1992. The country was formerly known as Outer Mongolia to distinguish it from Inner Mongolia, which is an autonomous region of China