Formerly known as Outer Mongolia, the Republic of Mongolia is a landlocked country located between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. The country has an area of 1,565,000 square kilometers (604,246 square miles), slightly smaller than the state of Alaska. However, population density remains one of the lowest in the world, with about 1.6 people per square kilometer (3.9 people per square mile). The country's low population can be explained in part by its geographic and climatic extremes: Mongolia is home to soaring mountains and burning deserts, including the Gobi Desert in the southern third of the country; because of the country's high average altitude, winters are long and temperatures extreme.

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