Inner Mongolia is largely steppe country that becomes increasingly arid toward the Gobi Desert in the west. The climate is continental with cold dry winters and hot summers. Stockraising, mainly of sheep, goats, horses, and camels, is a major occupation; wool, hides, and skins are important exports. Rainfall is scanty, but irrigation makes agriculture possible, and much grazing land has been converted to raising spring wheat. The main farming areas are in the bend of the Huang He (Yellow River) and in the Hohhot plains.
The Mongols of China are concentrated in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, but there has been much Chinese immigration and the Mongols now comprise less than 20% of the population. The Chinese live mostly in the farming areas. Many of the traditionally nomadic Mongols have settled in permanent homes as their pastoral economy was collectivized. Inner Mongolian Univ. is in Hohhot.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.