Considering that your average person really doesn’t know that much about Mongolia (other than all that stuff about some guy called Genghis Khan), and that I am apparently now the de facto expert on Mongolia among my family and friends, I thought I would occasionally post a random fact about Mongolia as I begin learning about the country in preparation for my Peace Corps journey.
So while visiting my grandfather earlier today, he asked me what you call a person from Mongolia. My first thought was “Mongolian,” but there’s also the term “Mongol,” so I wasn’t 100% sure.
I later did some research and found that the demonym for the people of Mongolia is Mongolian. On the other hand, the term Mongol refers to the ethno-linguistic group that 95% of Mongolians belong to, which would explain why the terms are often used interchangeably.
So most of the people who live in Mongolia are ethnic Mongols, but Mongols can (and do) live in other countries (such as China and Russia). Likewise, Mongolians (people living in Mongolia) include the Mongol majority but also some smaller ethnic minority groups (such as Kazakhs and Tuvans).