IRI Mongolia Poll Shows Strong Support for Democratic Governance, Concerns for Country’s Direction and Ability to Make Change

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – A new nationwide poll in Mongolia by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research shows strong enthusiasm for democratic governance while many express their concern over the country’s direction and lament an individual’s ability to influence public policymaking.

When asked about the best possible form of government, 72% of Mongolians prefer a democracy, but acknowledge the need for continued improvement.

“While many people believe that democracy is backsliding around the world, the people of Mongolia are showing strong support for an open and transparent political system,” said Johanna Kao, Regional Director of the Asia-Pacific Division for IRI. “It’s encouraging to see a thirst for democracy in a country that borders both China and Russia.”

However, when asked about the current direction of the country, 48% of Mongolians felt that the country is moving in the wrong direction, expressing concerns over COVID-19, unemployment, healthcare, the economy, and education. Additionally, even though there is a strong preference for a democratic government, 72% of citizens feel that ordinary people are unlikely to influence decisions made at the national level.

“It’s clear that Mongolia’s leaders need to address issues related to healthcare and the economy if they want their constituents to believe the country can move in the right direction,” said Kao. “If they are successful in doing so, more people may feel that they can influence policymakers on the issues they care about the most.”


The survey was conducted on behalf of the International Republican Institute’s Center for Insights in Survey Research by Independent Research Institute of Mongolia (IRIM) and made possible by the generous support of USAID. Data collection was conducted between March 11 – April 20, 2021 through computer-assisted telephone interviews from IRIM’s call center. The sample consisted of n=2,520 residents of Mongolia aged 18 and over. 

A multi-stage probability sampling method was used to design a nationally representative sample. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the data collection was conducted based on a CATI. The contact information list of the households was compiled from the IRIM’s internal database. The sample was stratified by region and by urban/rural residency. Households were selected by simple random sampling, and respondents were selected by the last birthday method. 

The data was weighted by gender and age groups based on the NSO data for population of Mongolia. The response rate was 27 percent.  The margin of error for the full sample is ± 1.92 percentage points. Charts and graphs may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. 

*This slide deck was corrected on September, 17 2021 to address data processing errors on slide 47. 

Up ArrowTop