Form of Government: Republic
Area: 163 610 sq km
Population: 11 708 370 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 71.56 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 37° - 30° N; long. 8° - 12° E
Capital: Tunis (capital) 610 995 inhab. (2020); Tunisi=Tūnis 2 863 562 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: Tunisian dinar (1000 millimes)
Human development index: 0.74 (rank: 95)
President: Kaïs Saïed (independent), elected 13 October 2019
Interim Prime Minister: Khaled Yahyaoui (indep.), since 25 July 2021
Assembly of the Representatives: seats based on the elections of 6 October 2019: Ennahda Movement (Renaissance Party, Islamist), 52; Hearth of Tunisia (centrist), 38; Democratic Current (social-democratic), 22; Dignity Coalition (Islamist), 21; Free Destourian Party (secular), 17; People’s Movement (socialist), 16; Tahya Tounes (“Long live Tunisia”, secular), 14; independents, 12; others, 25
Internet: www.ins.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

Following protests due to economic woes and at the inertia of the government, an institutional crisis is underway that has slowed political action. Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi oversaw a government shake-up, which was approved by the parliament on 26 January 2021, ousting the ministers close to President K. Saïed, who refused to approve the nominations; on 25 June, the president removed Mechichi from office and suspended parliament for 30 days.

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
Homicides3$per 100 000 pop.2012
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Tunis610 995inhab.2020
Sfax286 245inhab.2020
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Tunisi=Tūnis2 863 562inhab.2020
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2020)
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 rate16.82019
Death rate6.22019
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Arab96.2%2000
other2.4%2000


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Muslim99$%2020
other1$%2020


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Arabic (official)
French
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years25.2%2020
15-29 years20.4%2020


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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 was behind the protests and strikes, and was exacerbated in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic crisis increased the deficit, which was worsened by the general hypertrophy of the public sector and the vast system of subsidies, whose revision was slowed down by social tensions.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)117.1index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)105.86index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population4 108 027units2020
Active population, Females26.2%2020
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate16.7%2020
Unemployment rate, Females38.5%2019
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses36 315M LCU2019
Revenues31 885M LCU2019
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture13$%2019
industry32.5%2019
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture10.941%2019
industry23.978%2019
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation15.749BN LCU2020
International reserves9 810.631M US$2020
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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 land32.138%2018
forests4.504%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley9401000 t2019
cereals, total2 419.8261000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes4401000 t2019
roots and tubers, total4401000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes28$1000 t2019
asparagus0.2461000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry0.1371000 t2019
beans, green0.6251000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes1801000 t2019
raisins0.41000 t2006
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives876.8771000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed4.0171000 t2019
sunflower seed4.8771000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pyrethrum0.1531000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet74.5991000 t2019
tobacco1.721000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton0.6721000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed3.0631000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples119.8451000 t2019
apricots36$1000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds80$1000 t2019
hazelnuts0.0451000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits544.9761000 t2019
citrus fruits, nes161.7161000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados0.3391000 t2019
dates288.71000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.1651000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley5811000 ha2019
oats3.5211000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes25.6861000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes3.8971000 ha2019
cabbages2.941000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry0.1381000 ha2019
beans, green0.2661000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape26.2391000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive1 606.9091000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed5.6171000 ha2019
sunflower seed6.4351000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.3461000 ha2019
tobacco1.1631000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton1.481000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.9771000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples21.5351000 ha2019
apricots7.1241000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds225.4531000 ha2019
hazelnuts0.051000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits45.7241000 ha2019
citrus fruits, nes15.3141000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados0.0311000 ha2019
dates63.2241000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 914 0002019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle645.1251000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes645.1251000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs5.3451000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep6 370.8441000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats1 163.2811000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses242.3421000 heads2019
asses and mules325.0971000 heads2019
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels237.5161000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds105 1011000 heads2019
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey3.691000 t2019
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter8.2031000 t2018
cheese7.9441000 t2018
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
corals5.3t2018
crustaceans and molluscs17 495.2t2019
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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; the large Nawara gas field is being exploited. 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 Bizerte, El Fouladh and Ben Arous. 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 are also mechanical plants for the assembly of motor vehicles (Kairouan, Ben Arous) and components. 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 103M m³2019
oil, crude1 555.81000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
iron ore3001000 t2019
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite10$1000 t2019
gypsum9001000 t2019
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal18 879.9M kWh2018
- other renew.674M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal5 4851000 kW2018
- other renew.3071000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation19 523.73M kWh2018
total installed capacity5 8431000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
steel, crude50$1000 t2019
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
commercial vehicles1 700no.2018
motor vehicles1 700no.2018
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol22.11000 t2010
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nitrogen fertilizers138.61000 t2019
phosphate fertilizers277.31000 t2019
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley1751000 t2018
fish, preserved17.71000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes9 624M units2007
cigars and cigarettes9 624M units2007
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper1481000 t2019
paper1481000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement7 8211000 t2018
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production544.237M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production1 352.648M US$2018
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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

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures81.68% of goods exports2019
food products10.655% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
France4 353M US$2019
Italy2 415M US$2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Italy3 320M US$2019
France3 068M US$2019
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202013 813M US$ -
201914 933M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202018 351M US$ -
201921 555M 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, the terrorist attacks and the 2020 pandemic. Important tourist resorts can be found at Sousse, Hammamet, Djerba, Monastir and Tozeur. Most tourists come from France, Germany and Italy.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures889M US$2019
Number of arrivals9 429 000units2019
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown28 200 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried4 335.31000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers102.043per 1000 pop.2019
Computers97$per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling15.126years2016
Gradautes, percentage8.4%2005
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level1 201 736units2018
Students, secondary level972 460units2018
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending28.8% of total expenses2012
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds1.85per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians1.3per 1000 pop.2018
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2019
Tuberculosis35$per 100 000 pop.2019
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.601% of GDP2018
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking99.8%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear7.6%2015
education2.2%2015
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