Mongolia is in Northern Asia, between China and Russia, and is slightly smaller than Alaska. It is made up of 21 provinces, and in 1921 with Soviet backing, it won its independence from China.
Although known as a place of rural population, with nomadic herders preserving the traditional Mongolian way of life, it is becoming an increasingly urbanized country. More than one quarter of the population live in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. Other major urban centers are Darkhan and Erdenet.