Form of Government: Republic
Area: 163 610 sq km
Population: 11 551 448 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 70.60 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 37° - 30° N; long. 8° - 12° E
Capital: Tunis (capital) 638 845 inhab. (2014); Tunisi=Tūnis 2 815 103 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: Tunisian dinar (1000 millimes)
Human development index: 0.735 (rank: 95)
Interim President: Mohamed Ennaceur (Call of Tunisia), since 25 July 2019
Prime Minister: Youssef Chahed (Call of Tunisia), since 27 August 2016
Assembly of the Representatives: seats based on the elections of 26 October 2014: Call of Tunisia (secular rally), 86; Ennahda Movement (Renaissance Party, Islamist), 69; UPL (Free Patriotic Union, liberal), 16; Popular Front (left coalition), 15; others, 31
Internet: www.ins.nat.tn (Institut National de la Statistique)
Member of Arab League, AU, COMESA, EBRD, OAS observer, OIC, UN, WTO
International license plate code TN
International dialling code 00216
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission)
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .tn
DST not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Tunis 18.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Tunis 11/26
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Tunis 11/5
Annual average precipitation (mm) Tunis 452
Days of rainfall (annual average) Tunis 67
Politics and current affairs
On 18 June 2019, Parliament approved changes to the electoral laws which would block some candidates not linked to traditional political parties from participating in the presidential elections planned for October. On 25 July, President Béji Caïd Essebsi (Call of Tunisia) died from an illness.
Tunisia is bordered to the south-east by Libya and to the west by Algeria, with the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. The country is mostly mountainous in the north, with the eastern foothills of the Tell Atlas and the Saharan Atlas, separated by the River Medjerda (Majardah). These chains slope down to the east towards a strip of coastal plains (Sahel). Further to the south are the lowlands of the Tunisian Sahara. The climate, Mediterranean along the coast, is hot desert inland.
A French protectorate since 1881, Tunisia became independent on 20 March 1956. On 25 July 1957 the Assembly proclaimed the Republic and named Habib Burghiba as President, who held this position for thirty years until he was deposed due to “senility” (7 November 1987). He was succeeded by General Zin el Abdin Ben Ali, who was re-elected several times (last on 25 October 2009), but was forced to flee the country (14 January 2011) because of widespread popular protest. On 23 October 2011, a constituent assembly was appointed, which drew up and approved (26 January 2014) the country’s new Constitution, which replaced the 1 June 1959 constitution, amended several times. The country must face the threat of Islamic terrorism, which struck tourist targets twice in 2015.
The President of the Republic, elected by direct suffrage for a five-year term, appoints the Prime Minister, who answers to the unicameral parliament (Assembly of the People’s Representatives), made up of 217 members.
Defence and justice.
The legal system is based on the French legal system law. The 2014 Constitution, highly developed compared to standards in the region, is fruit of the compromise between the needs of democratic constitutionalism and proposals put forward by Islam-inspired parties at the heart of the Constituent Assembly.
|Homicides||3||per 100 000 pop.||2012|
|Tunisi=Tūnis||2 815 103||inhab.||2018|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
Population growth is slower than the average of other countries in the area. There are large numbers of emigrants from Tunisia to Europe, especially to France and Italy.
There is still a small Jewish community (1500 people), particularly on the island of Djerba.
The economic problems that caused political upheavals in 2011 were not resolved, especially youth unemployment and the discrepancy between better and less developed areas. This situation, which is worsened by an increase in food prices, has led to protests and strikes. Inflation is owed primarily to the depreciation of the dinar, which has also made financing the public debt costlier.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||117.1||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-7 172.1||M US$||2018|
|Active population||4 114 586||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||26.5||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||38.7||%||2018|
|Expenses||30 362||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||26 415||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||12.45||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||5 661.4||M US$||2018|
The main products are cereals (especially wheat and barley) and crops for export: olives (Tunisia is one of the world’s main producers of olive oil), vines, vegetables (tomatoes), fruit (watermelons). Dates from the south (Gabès and Tozeur) are especially prized. Citrus fruits are grown around the Gulf of Hammamet and almonds in the region of Sfax. On the higher lands in the north, cork is produced; in the steppe areas in the south alfalfa (lucerne) is grown.
In terms of livestock farming, sheep are the main resource. The main fishing products are tuna and sardines, sponge fishing is also still practiced.
|cereals, total||1 642.301||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||420||1000 t||2017|
|beans, dry||0.198||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||0.798||1000 t||2017|
|sunflower seed||7.134||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||72.449||1000 t||2017|
|seed cotton||1.462||1000 t||2017|
|citrus fruits||490.291||1000 t||2017|
|citrus fruits, nes||141.413||1000 t||2017|
|beans, dry||0.219||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||0.299||1000 ha||2017|
|olive||1 685.301||1000 ha||2017|
|sunflower seed||8.178||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||1.26||1000 ha||2017|
|seed cotton||2.388||1000 ha||2017|
|citrus fruits||40.289||1000 ha||2017|
|citrus fruits, nes||13.487||1000 ha||2017|
|timber||3 914 000||m³||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||627.614||1000 heads||2017|
|sheep||6 536.762||1000 heads||2017|
|goats||1 205.526||1000 heads||2017|
|asses and mules||324.295||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||102 698||1000 heads||2017|
|crustaceans and molluscs||18 184||t||2017|
Unlike other, nearby countries, Tunisia is not self-sufficient in terms of its energy supply.
The main crude oil deposits are at El-Borma, Ashtart and Douleb (connected by oil pipeline to Skhirra) and the Gulf of Gabès. Natural gas is extracted at El-Borma, Miskar and Jugurtha. Other important resources are phosphates (Tunisia is amongst the world’s leading producers): vast deposits are found at Kalaat Djerda and Gafsa, connected by railway to the ports of Bizerte and Sfax. At Djerissa, Douaria, Tamera, and El Harrech there are iron ore deposits. In the north minerals such as lead, zinc and silver bearing materials are extracted. At Mégrine, Soliman, Ras Dimas, Mahdia, Sidi Salem and Kerkennah sea salt is produced.
About 50% of Tunisia’s industry is concentrated in the capital. Many manufacturing factories can be found in specific zones in Bizerte and Zarzis, where foreign companies enjoy special tax concessions. The main metal-working centres are at Mégrine and Souk El Khemis; there are iron and steel works at Tunis, Bizerte and El Fouladh, at Menzel-Bourguiba. There are chemical plant in Tunis, Chamoud, Gabès, Djelloud and Sfax. At Bizerte there is a refinery. The production of cement is mostly at Bizerte, Gabès, Tunis, Enfidha and Fériana. There is also a machinery based industry; car assembly and engine manufacture. In Tunis there is an electronics and telecommunications industry. Light industry mainly consists of foodstuff factories (oil mills at Sfax, Sousse, El Moknine, M’Saken and Mégrine; sugar mills at Béja), cotton and clothing industries (shirts and underwear), tyres (at M’Saken and Menzel-Bourguiba), cigarettes, pulp and paper plants, ceramic (Nabeul) and carpet (Kairouan) workshops.
|natural gas||2 531||M m³||2017|
|oil, crude||1 925.2||1000 t||2018|
|iron ore||300||1000 t||2016|
|- thermal||17 861.88||M kWh||2016|
|- other renew.||537||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||5 420||1000 kW||2016|
|- other renew.||282||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||18 443.88||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||5 768||1000 kW||2016|
|steel, crude||50||1000 t||2016|
|commercial vehicles||1 700||no.||2018|
|motor vehicles||1 700||no.||2018|
|nitrogen fertilizers||183.5||1000 t||2017|
|phosphate fertilizers||1 098||1000 t||2016|
|beer of barley||108.5||1000 t||2014|
|fish, preserved||13.9||1000 t||2017|
|cigarettes||9 624||M units||2007|
|cigars and cigarettes||9 624||M units||2007|
|other paper||188||1000 t||2017|
|cement||8 053||1000 t||2017|
|chemicals production||592.5||M US$||2015|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||1 472.5||M US$||2015|
Tunisia imports mainly textile products, machinery and hydrocarbons.
(M US$ - 2016)
electrical and electronic equipment 3 740, apparel and accessories 2 141, crude oil and petroleum products 750, machinery 644, vehicles and parts thereof 504, chemicals 432, technical and electro-medical appliances 426, plastics 405, olive oil 402, footwear 378, fertilizers 312, iron and steel 309, aircraft parts 269, dates 228, household linens 228, furniture and accessories 182, building materials 155, miscellaneous manufactured articles 127
|manufactures||81.102||% of goods exports||2017|
|food products||10.561||% of goods exports||2017|
|France||4 342||M US$||2017|
|Italy||2 339||M US$||2017|
|Italy||3 212||M US$||2017|
|France||3 105||M US$||2017|
Tourism. Tourism is one of the main economic activities, but it has been severely affected by the security situation after the serious political crisis and by the terrorist attacks. Important tourist resorts can be found at Sousse, Hammamet, Djerba, Monastir and Tozeur. Most tourists come from France, Germany and Italy.
|Number of arrivals||7 052 000||units||2017|
|Civil aviation, km flown||28 200 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||4 194.2||1000 units||2017|
|Broadband subscribers||69.526||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||97||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
|Expected years of schooling||15.1||years||2016|
|Teachers, primary level||70 399||units||2016|
|Teachers, secondary level||84 562||units||2011|
|Social protection spending||28.8||% of total expenses||2012|
|Hospital beds||1.8||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||1.3||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|HIV||-0.1||% of adults||2017|
|Tuberculosis||34||per 100 000 pop.||2017|
|Research and development spending||0.6||% of GDP||2016|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||99.1||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|