Provinces of Mongolia

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Mongolia is resuming the use of daylight saving time in 2015. DST will take effect on the last Saturday in March at 1:00 a.m. and end on the last Saturday in September at 1:00 a.m.

FIPS 10-4 Change Notice 12, dated 2007-06-11, has changed the spelling of the names of two provinces: Darhan Uul to Darhan-Uul, and Govi-Sumber to Govisumber. (Actually, the i's should have a breve accent, which I haven't bothered to reproduce.)

Hans Wittebol mentioned that Mongolia would like to move its capital to Kharkhorin (also spelled Harhorin, Karakorum, etc.). The earliest date by which this could be done is 2020. Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire at its height under Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan.

Change Notice 8 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-06-28. It deletes Darhan and Erdenet cities and adds Darhan Uul, Govi-Sumber, and Orhon provinces. I would have expected FIPS to describe this as a change of name from Darhan to Darhan Uul and from Erdenet to Orhon, without changing the status or FIPS code for either one; and since I understand that Govisumber was split from Dornogovi, I would have expected the FIPS code for Dornogovi to change. Either FIPS has deviated from its standard policies for codes, or my "Change history" section below has mistakes. In any case, the new FIPS codes are shown below; the names are already correct in the table.

Country overview: 

Short nameMONGOLIA
ISO codeMN
LanguageHalh Mongol (mn)
Time zone(see table)


Mongolia in 1900 was under Chinese rule. At that time Mongolia included what is now Tuva republic of Russia (known for a while as Tannu Tuva) and parts of several Chinese provinces. It gained independence from China by stages, losing Inner Mongolia and Tannu Tuva in the process. During this period, it was sometimes called Outer Mongolia, to help distinguish it from Inner Mongolia. Mongolia became independent from China on 1921-07-11.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Mongoliet
  2. Dutch: Mongolië
  3. English: Outer Mongolia (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Mongolia
  5. French: Mongolie f, Mongolie-Extérieure (obsolete)
  6. German: Mongolei f, Äussere Mongolei (obsolete)
  7. Halh Mongol: Mongol Uls
  8. Icelandic: Mongólía
  9. Italian: Mongolia f
  10. Norwegian: Mongolia
  11. Portuguese: Mongólia f, Mongólia Exterior (obsolete)
  12. Russian: Монголия
  13. Spanish: Mongolia
  14. Swedish: Mongoliet
  15. Turkish: Moğolistan (formal)

Origin of name: 

from ethnic name Mongol, said to mean brave

Primary subdivisions: 

Mongolia is divided into eighteen aymguud (provinces; sing. aimag or aymag) and four hotuud (municipalities; sing. hot).

DornodpMN.DD061MG0621DR8~68,87375,373123,60047,720Choybalsan (Bayan Tumen)
DornogovipMN.DG063MG0744DG8~57,93050,575109,50042,280Buyant-Uhaa (Saynshand)
DzavhanpMN.DZ057MG0981ZK7~64,92489,99982,50031,850Uliastay (Dzavchlant)
Govi-AltaypMN.GA065MG1082GA7~53,22363,673141,40054,590Altay (Yösönbulag)
HovdpMN.HD043MG1284KH7~76,25286,83176,10029,380Dund-Us (Hovd, Jirgalanta)
UlaanbaatarmMN.UB1MG201xUB8~1,154,290760,0774,7001,810Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator)
22 divisions2,647,5452,373,4931,564,160603,900
  • Type: p = province; m = municipality.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • PC: First two digits of postal code (source [1]).
  • UPU: Codes from a document called "Postal Addressing Systems", published by the Universal
    Postal Union; presumably these are province abbreviations for use in postal addresses.
  • Tz: Standard time in province (hours later than UTC).
  • Pop-2010: 2010-11-11 census.
  • Pop-2000: 2000-01-05 census.
  • Area: Source: National Statistical Office of Mongolia.
  • Capital: Names in parentheses are older names, sometimes still in use.

Postal codes: 

Mongolia uses five-digit postal codes. The first digit determines a postal region of the country. The first and second digits determine the province. Ulaanbaatar uses several second digits.

According to available information in 2001, Mongolia used six-digit postal codes, where the first two digits indicated a town or provincial center; the next two indicated a district. The date of the change is unknown.

Further subdivisions:

See the Soums of Mongolia page.

The provinces are subdivided into soums (or sooms or sums), translated sub-provinces, districts, or counties. The municipalities are divided into districts. At the lowest level of administration, Mongolia is subdivided into bags (rural) and horoos (urban). There are currently 342 soums and 1681 bags and horoos.

Census reports sometimes give the populations by region, where the regions are as listed below. The region to which each province belongs is indicated by the first digit of its postal codes.


Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Mongolia lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Choybalsan: after Khorloghiyin Choybalsan, revolutionary leader
  2. Gobi: Halh Mongol gov': desert steppe
  3. Sühbaatar: after Damdiny Sühbaatar, revolutionary leader
  4. Ulaanbaatar: Halh Mongol ulaan: red, baatar: hero, knight, in honor of Damdiny Sühbaatar.

Change history: 

  1. The area of present-day Mongolia was divided into khanates in 1900. From west to east, they were Kobdo, Jassaktu, Sain-Noin, Tushetu, and Tsetsen. (Many variant spellings exist.)
  2. 1911: Name of country's capital changed from Urga to Niislel Khureheh (meaning "capital of Mongolia").
  3. 1921-07-11: Outer Mongolia, consisting of Dzasagthaan, Saynnoyonhaan, Tsetsenhaan, and Tüsheethaan provinces and Hovd administative area, became independent from China. The Mongolian provinces of Ala-Shan, Ordos, Silin Gol, and Chearim remained part of China. Tannu Tuva split from Kobdo and became an independent country, called the Urjanchai Republic.
  4. 1923: Names of provinces changed to Bogd haan uul, Haan hentiy uul, Hantayshir uul, and Tsetserleg mandal.
  5. 1924-11-26: Mongolian People's Republic proclaimed. Name of country's capital changed from Niislel Khureheh to Ulaanbaatar (then usually transliterated Ulan Bator).
  6. ~1941: Mongolia reorganized into the provinces of Arhangay, Choybalsan, Dornogovi, Dzavhan, Hentiy, Kobdo (Hovd), Hövsgöl, Ömnögovi, Övörhangay, Töv, and Uvs.
  7. 1941: Name of capital of Choybalsan province changed from Bayan Tumen to Choybalsan.
  8. 1954-02: A long strip of southern Mongolia was annexed to Nei Mongol province of China.
  9. ~1954: Bayanhongor, Bayan-Ölgiy, Bulgan, Dundgovi, Govi-Altay, and Sühbaatar provinces formed.
  10. ~1956: Selenge province split from Töv.
  11. ~1963: Name of Choybalsan province changed to Dornod.
  12. ~1963: Ulaanbaatar city split from Töv.
  13. At this time, the divisions of Mongolia were:
ArhangayMG0160,30066,70055,000Tsetserlig (Tselserlik) [Tsetserleg]
BayanhongorMG0242,10046,000116,000Bayan Hongor [Bayanhongor]
Bayan-ÖlgiyMG0338,80044,60046,000Ölögey (Ulegei) [Ölgiy]
BulganMG0430,90034,60049,000Bulagan (Bulgan)
DornodMG0635,10037,900122,000Choybalsan (Choibalsan)
DornogoviMG0723,40026,100111,000Sayn Shanda (Sain-Shand) [Saynshand]
DundgoviMG0824,60026,50078,000Mandal-Gobi [Mandalgov']
DzavhanMG0955,10061,00082,000Jibhalanta (Ulyassutai) [Uliastay]
Govi-AltayMG1041,00045,600142,000Yusan-Bulak [Yesönbulag]
HentiyMG1134,80037,50082,000Öndör Haan (Undur-Khan) [Öndörhaan]
HovdMG1242,30048,00076,000Jirgalanta (Hobdo) [Hovd]
HövsgölMG1358,20064,000101,000Mörön (Muren)
ÖmnögoviMG1420,20021,900165,000Dalan Dzadagad [Dalandzadgad]
ÖvörhangayMG1549,90054,70063,000Arbay Heere (Arbai Khere) [Arvayheer]
SelengeMG16 35,00043,000Sühe Baator [Sühbaatar]
SühbaatarMG1730,70034,10082,000Barun-Urt [Baruun urt]
TövMG1882,00053,80081,000Dzun-modo [Dzuun mod]
UlaanbaatarMG20118,400164,0002Ulan Bator
19 provinces845,500955,1001,565,000
  • Province: Source: Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition. In this
    table, names are given in their modern forms. These divisions were provinces
    except for Ulaanbaatar, which was an independent city.
  • FIPS: these codes were assigned in 1971.
  • Pop-1956: 1956-02-05 census.
  • Pop-1960: 1960 estimates.
  • Capital: Names are given as they appear in the EBWA. They are recognizably the
    same as the present-day capitals, except where a change occurred as listed
    below. Names in [brackets] are those given in the Sanders book, where different.
  1. ~1966: Darhan city (Darhan-Uul) split from Selenge. Darhan was given FIPS code MG05 when they were assigned.
  2. ~1979: Erdenet city (later named Orhon) split from Bulgan. Erdenet was given FIPS code MG22 at that time.
  3. ~1994: Name of capital of Dornogovi province changed from Saynshand to Buyant-Uhaa; name of capital of Hovd province changed from Hovd to Dund-Us.
  4. ~1996: Govisumber province split from Dornogovi.

Other names of subdivisions: 

There are many ways to transliterate from Mongolian. The same letter in Mongolia's modified Cyrillic alphabet may be transliterated 'kh' or 'h', and similarly for other letters. This list shows some that have appeared in print.

  1. Arhangay: Alahangai, Ara Hangay, Ara-Khangai, Archangaj, Arkhangai, North Hangay, North Khangai (variant); Archangai (German)
  2. Bayanhongor: Bajan-Chongor (German); Bayan Khangor, Bayan Khongor (variant)
  3. Bayan-Ölgiy: Bajan-Ölgij, Bayan Ölögey, Bayan-Ulegei, Bayanulgee, Bayan-Ulgii (variant); Bajan-Ulegei (German)
  4. Bulgan: Bulagan (variant)
  5. Darhan-Uul: Darchan, Darhan, Darkhan, Darkhan-Uul (variant); Darchan-Uul (German)
  6. Dornod: Choibalsan, Choybalsan, Doronad, Doronod, Eastern (variant)
  7. Dornogovi: Dornogobi, Dornogov', Dorono Gobi, East Gobi (variant); Dornogow', Ostgobi (German); Góbi Oriental (Portuguese)
  8. Dundgovi: Central Gobi, Dunda Gobi, Dundgobi, Dundgov', Middle Gobi (variant); Dundgow', Mittelgobi (German); Góbi Central (Portuguese)
  9. Dzavhan: Dsawchan (German); Dzabhan, Dzabkhan, Dzavchan, Psapchyn, Zavhan, Zavkhan (variant)
  10. Govi-Altay: Gobi-Altai, Gobi Altay, Gov'altaj, Gov'altay, Govyaltaj (variant); Gow'altai (German)
  11. Govisumber: Gobisumber (variant)
  12. Hentiy: Chentii, Chentij (German); Hentey, Hentii, Kentai, Kentei, Khentei, Khenti, Khentii (variant)
  13. Hovd: Chovd, Hobdo, Khobdo, Khovd, Kobdo (variant); Chowd (German)
  14. Hövsgöl: Chövsgöl, Chuwsgul (German); Hobsgol, Höbsögöl, Hubsugul, Khubsugal, Khubsugud, Khubsugul, Khuvsgul, Kossogol (variant)
  15. Ömnögovi: Góbi do Sul (Portuguese); Ömnögov', Ömönö Gobi, South Gobi, Umnu, Umnugovi (variant); Ömnögow', Südgobi (German)
  16. Orhon: Erdenet (obsolete); Orkhon (variant)
  17. Övörhangay: Öbör Hangay, Övörchangaj, Ovorkhangai South Hangay, South Khangai, Ublhangai, Ubur-Khangai, Uvurkhangay (variant); Öwörchangai, Uwurchangaj (German)
  18. Selenge: Selenga (variant)
  19. Sühbaatar: Sühe Baatar, Suhe-Bator, Sükhbaatar, Sukh-Batar, Sukhe-Bator (variant); Süchbaatar (German)
  20. Töv: Central, Töb, Tub, Tuv, Tuvaimag (variant); Töw, Tuw (German)
  21. Ulaanbaatar: Oulan-Bator (French); Ulan Bator, Ulan Bator Choto (variant); Ulán Bator (Spanish)
  22. Uvs: Ubs, Ubsa Nor, Ubsa Nur, Ubsu Hur, Upsanol, Uvs nuur (variant); Uws (German)


  1. [1] Mongolia , on the YouBianKu wiki, which is devoted to postal codes (retrieved 2013-06-18).
  2. [2] Sanders, A.J.K. "The People's Republic of Mongolia." Oxford University Press, London, 1968.
  3. [3] Population and Housing Census of Mongolia, 2010  (retrieved 2014-02-25).
  4. [4] Mongolia 2010 Population Census : Main Findings, by Ochirsukh Ya (retrieved 2014-02-25). This page has conflicting and incomplete information, but some of it serves to confirm source [3].
  5. [5] "Mongolia to observe Daylight Saving Time from March 28, 2015 " on InfoMongolia news website (retrieved 2015-03-15).
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