The Mongols are an East-Central Asian ethnic group native to Mongolia and the Inner Mongolia region of China. The Mongols are a traditionally nomadic people, and their main faith is Buddhism. In 2010, the world Mongol population was 10,000,000 people.
The Mongols were descended from the Xiongnu and the Huns, and the destruction of the Uyghur Khaganate by the Yenisei Kirghiz in 840 CE ended Turkic dominance in Mongolia. In 924, the Khitans expelled the Kirghiz from Mongolia, and the Khitans would finally be expelled after the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan united the Mongol clans against the Khitans in the late 12th century. In 1206, Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which would go on to conquer much of the world during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Mongols would come to run an empire stretching from Central Europe and the Levant in the west to Indochina and the Sea of Japan in the east, and its components (the Golden Horde, the Chagatai Khanate, the Ilkhanate, and the Yuan dynasty) would last for hundreds of years. By the 16th century, the Mongol kingdoms had disintegrated, and the Mongols were weakened by the growth of Turkic dynasties in Asia. Today, most Mongols live in either Mongolia or northern China.