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

Tunisia

Tūnus, Al-Jumhūrīyah at-Tūnusīyah
Useful information

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

GMT  +1
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.

Geography.
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.

Government


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.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force11.2%2015
Army75.4%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides3per 100 000 pop.2012
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Tunis638 845inhab.2014
Sfax272 801inhab.2014
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Tunisi=Tūnis2 815 103inhab.2018
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

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.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate17.92017
Death rate6.32017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Arab96.2%2000
other2.4%2000


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Muslim99%2017
other1%2017


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Arabic (official)
French
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years25.3%2018
15-29 years21.5%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
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.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)117.1index2016
Balance of trade-7 172.1M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population4 114 586units2018
Active population, Females26.5%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate15.5%2018
Unemployment rate, Females38.7%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses30 362M LCU2018
Revenues26 415M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture15%2018
industry32.8%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture10.2%2017
industry24.6%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation12.45BN LCU2018
International reserves5 661.4M US$2018
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Agriculture


Primary sector.
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.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land33.68%2015
forests6.7%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley4761000 t2017
cereals, total1 642.3011000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes4201000 t2017
roots and tubers, total4201000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes321000 t2017
asparagus0.2621000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry0.1981000 t2017
beans, green0.7981000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes1521000 t2017
raisins0.41000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives896.8071000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed3.8821000 t2017
sunflower seed7.1341000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pyrethrum0.1631000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet72.4491000 t2017
tobacco2.8731000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton1.4621000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed2.3571000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples122.8341000 t2017
apricots30.51000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds671000 t2017
hazelnuts0.0441000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits490.2911000 t2017
citrus fruits, nes141.4131000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados0.3281000 t2017
dates2601000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.1561000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley444.6861000 ha2017
oats4.1761000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes25.591000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes3.6871000 ha2017
cabbages2.6431000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry0.2191000 ha2017
beans, green0.2991000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape21.4631000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive1 685.3011000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed5.4041000 ha2017
sunflower seed8.1781000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.261000 ha2017
tobacco2.0371000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton2.3881000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed1.11000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples22.9421000 ha2017
apricots6.4261000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds181.9811000 ha2017
hazelnuts0.0491000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits40.2891000 ha2017
citrus fruits, nes13.4871000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados0.0311000 ha2017
dates64.3981000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 914 0002017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle627.6141000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes627.6141000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs5.4671000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep6 536.7621000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 205.5261000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses241.6461000 heads2017
asses and mules324.2951000 heads2017
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels237.0051000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds102 6981000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey3.31000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter6.9731000 t2014
cheese7.1071000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
corals8.2t2017
crustaceans and molluscs18 184t2017
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Minerals


Secondary sector.
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.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural gas2 531M m³2017
oil, crude1 925.21000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
iron ore3001000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite101000 t2016
gypsum8501000 t2016
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal17 861.88M kWh2016
- other renew.537M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal5 4201000 kW2016
- other renew.2821000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation18 443.88M kWh2016
total installed capacity5 7681000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
steel, crude501000 t2016
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
commercial vehicles1 700no.2018
motor vehicles1 700no.2018
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol22.11000 t2010
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nitrogen fertilizers183.51000 t2017
phosphate fertilizers1 0981000 t2016
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley108.51000 t2014
fish, preserved13.91000 t2017
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes9 624M units2007
cigars and cigarettes9 624M units2007
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper1881000 t2017
paper1881000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement8 0531000 t2017
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production592.5M US$2015
food, beverages and tobacco production1 472.5M US$2015
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Trade


Tertiary sector.
Tunisia imports mainly textile products, machinery and hydrocarbons.


Main exports
(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

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures81.102% of goods exports2017
food products10.561% of goods exports2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
France4 342M US$2017
Italy2 339M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Italy3 212M US$2017
France3 105M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201815 534M US$ -
201714 204M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201822 706M US$ -
201720 654M US$ -
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Tourism


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.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures871M US$2017
Number of arrivals7 052 000units2017
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown28 200 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried4 194.21000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers69.526per 1000 pop.2017
Computers97per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling15.1years2016
Gradautes, percentage8.4%2005
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level70 399units2016
Teachers, secondary level84 562units2011
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending28.8% of total expenses2012
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds1.8per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians1.3per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2017
Tuberculosis34per 100 000 pop.2017
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.6% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking99.1%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear7.6%2015
education2.2%2015
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