Mongolia Population and Economic Conditions
Population. – On the population of Mongolia there are approximate and uncertain data. According to recent assessments, there would be 700,000 residents in Outer Mongolia, of which 90,000 Russians and 7,000 Chinese; therefore approximately 600,000 Mongols, including neither monks nor servants. According to the China Year Book (1924), the number of servants would be 600,000; that of the monks, based on the 1918 census, would be approximately 480,000. In total, therefore, 1,780,000 souls. The population of Inner Mongolia, according to the 1926 census, would be about 10 million residents, the vast majority of them Chinese, divided as follows: Jehol, 4,517,661 residents; Chahar, 2,166,196 residents; Sui-yüan, 2,423,344; Ninghsia, 812.066. Note that, since 1932, the Jehol has been incorporated into the new Manchu state. It is difficult to say how many Mongols there are outside of Outer Mongolia. The Grenard (Géographie Universelle, VIII, p. 277) calculates there are 150,000 in Zungaria, 20,000 in Alaska, 70,000 in the Kuku-nōr and Tsadam regions; to these must be added 190,000 Kalmyks from the surroundings of Astrakhan and 20,000 from the prov. from Tomsk, plus 290,000 Buryats from the Baikal region; in total 2,520,000 Mongols, approximately, including those of Outer Mongolia.
According to Educationvv.com, Inner Mongolia offers the phenomenon of a notable Chinese immigration that began over a century and has become strongly accentuated in recent years, especially after the construction of the Peiping-Sui-yüan-Paotow line in 1923. The movement involves an area, where more where less wide, but always conspicuous along the entire Great Wall, an area with virgin soil made up of alluvium mixed with löss and which, if fertilized, can give a decent harvest (barley, wheat, millet, peas, potatoes, rapeseed and flax).
The work of these pioneers is very hard, since it is carried out in a region generally unsuitable for agriculture due to the climate, distinctly continental and semi-arid, with long and rigid winters and poor distribution of scarce rainfall, so it is not predictable. that the Chinese flow from the south can last a long time.
Indeed, Mongolia is not a land for the farmer. Inhabited by semi-nomadic populations, dedicated to pastoralism and breeding, it has no conspicuous urban centers. The largest is Urga (about 100,000 residents), Capital of Outer Mongolia since 1924 with the new name of Ulān-Bātor Khoto (city of the red heroes); smaller centers are: Kiakhta, emporium of the Russian-Mongolian trade, Uliassutai and Kobdo. All these human centralizations have only the name of city; rather it is a question of vast masses of wooden or masonry enclosures, enclosing tents or miserable habitations, where dirt reigns supreme.
Economic Conditions. – Apart from the salt pans, the product of which is largely consumed in China, the mineral riches of Mongolia are considered important, but very little known and still less exploited. After the Mongol revolution, the few foreign companies that had obtained an exploitation license were deprived of it, but state initiatives intended to replace foreign ones can be considered bankrupt. Gold above all seems to abound and has sparked more than one initiative. Fourteen mines are exploited with inadequate means in the Mongolia Kentai, with a daily yield of $ 1000-1200. Important deposits have also been reported in Khangai, especially along the Baidaryk River. Little coal and silver lead are extracted from the Altai, south-east of Kobdo; other carbon and graphite were observed in the
Industries are practically lacking, nor does the Mongol seem made for them, as he is averse to sedentary and constant work. On the other hand, the current policy of the national government, of intransigent opposition to the immigration of Russian and Chinese workers, removes, at least temporarily, any hope of a birth of industrial and manual activities.
The country’s only resources, for now, are in farming, a traditional activity, and, to a lesser extent, in the exploitation of forests. The zootechnical patrimony, very huge, is however far from being what it could, as it is reduced by the continuous epidemics and hindered in the development by the absence of care, fodder, shelters. To these ailments must be added the wolves, true scourges of the flocks, whose destruction the ecclesiastics oppose. The government is currently striving to increase the production of hay for winter forage. According to the recent appreciation of a Russian observer, in 1924 Outer Mongolia owned 17,003,678 head of cattle, divided as follows: horses 11%, camels 2.3%, cattle 11.3%, sheep 75.4%.