Mongolia - Poverty and wealth



Reforms during the 1990s brought mixed results to the Mongolian people. While they removed state control over the economy, allowed private businesses, and diversified

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Mongolia N/A N/A 479 498 408
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
China 138 168 261 349 727
Kazakhstan N/A N/A N/A 2,073 1,281
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Mongolia
Lowest 10% 2.9
Lowest 20% 7.3
Second 20% 12.2
Third 20% 16.6
Fourth 20% 23.0
Highest 20% 40.9
Highest 10% 24.5
Survey year: 1995
Note: This information refers to expenditure shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita expenditure.
SOURCE: 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].

international trade, they also brought widespread poverty, a diminishing social-welfare system , especially in health care and education, a rise in organized crime, and huge gaps in personal income.

In 1999, per capita GDP was estimated at US$2,320. According to the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Report, a statistical survey of the standard of living of the world's nations, Mongolia was ranked 110th, just behind China and Egypt, but just ahead of El Salvador and Bolivia. This is largely because of the strong education and health systems built during the single party (1924-1991) era, which remain strong despite declines in the 1990s. In 2000, the enrollment rate at primary and secondary schools stood at 84 percent, and most people had access to health care services. The government plans to increase spending in these areas, however, to return them to the levels the country enjoyed before 1991.

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