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Tunisia

 
Flag of Tunisia
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Coordinates:
34.00 N  09.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Tunisia Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Following independence from France in 1956, President Habib BOURGUIBA established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. Tunisia has long taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to defuse rising pressure for a more open political society.
   Geography    Tunisia Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
34 00 N, 9 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 163,610 sq km
land: 155,360 sq km
water: 8,250 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than Georgia
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,424 km
border countries: Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,148 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara
Elevation extremes:
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lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m
highest point: Jebel ech Chambi 1,544 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 17.05%
permanent crops: 13.08%
other: 69.87% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
3,940 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses health risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location in central Mediterranean; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
   People    Tunisia Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,175,014 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 24.6% (male 1,293,235/female 1,212,994)
15-64 years: 68.6% (male 3,504,283/female 3,478,268)
65 years and over: 6.7% (male 327,521/female 358,713) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.3 years
female: 28.3 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.99% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.52 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.13 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 23.84 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 75.12 years
male: 73.4 years
female: 76.96 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.74 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: may be a significant risk in some locations during the transmission season (typically April through November) (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Tunisian(s)
adjective: Tunisian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.3%
male: 83.4%
female: 65.3% (2004 est.)
   Government    Tunisia Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Tunisian Republic
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: Tunis
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
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Tunis
Administrative divisions:
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24 governorates; Ariana (Aryanah), Beja (Bajah), Ben Arous (Bin 'Arus), Bizerte (Banzart), Gabes (Qabis), Gafsa (Qafsah), Jendouba (Jundubah), Kairouan (Al Qayrawan), Kasserine (Al Qasrayn), Kebili (Qibili), Kef (Al Kaf), Mahdia (Al Mahdiyah), Manouba (Manubah), Medenine (Madanin), Monastir (Al Munastir), Nabeul (Nabul), Sfax (Safaqis), Sidi Bou Zid (Sidi Bu Zayd), Siliana (Silyanah), Sousse (Susah), Tataouine (Tatawin), Tozeur (Tawzar), Tunis, Zaghouan (Zaghwan)
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
20 March 1956 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 20 March (1956)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French civil law system and Shari'a law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed GHANNOUCHI (since 17 November 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 24 October 2004 (next to be held October 2009); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected for a fourth term; percent of vote - Zine El Abidine BEN ALI 94.5%, Mohamed BOUCHIHA 3.8%, Mohamed Ali HALOUANI 1%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral system consists of the Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (189 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Advisors (126 seats; 85 members elected by municipal counselors, deputies, mayors, and professional associations and trade unions; 41 members are presidential appointees; members serve six-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held 24 October 2004 (next to be held October 2009); Chamber of Advisors - last held 3 July 2005 (next to be held July 2011)
election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2; Chamber of Advisors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 71 (14 trade union seats vacant (boycotted))
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Al-Tajdid Movement [Ali HALOUANI]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or RCD [President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI (official ruling party)]; Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mounir BEJI]; Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA]; Progressive Democratic Party [Nejib CHEBBI]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Ahmed INOUBLI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
the Islamic fundamentalist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC (suspended), OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNOCI, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Nejib HACHANA
chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850
FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador William J. HUDSON
embassy: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 1053, Tunisia
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [216] 71 107-000
FAX: [216] 71 107-090
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a white disk in the center bearing a red crescent nearly encircling a red five-pointed star; the crescent and star are traditional symbols of Islam
   Economy    Tunisia Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Progressive social policies also have helped raise living conditions in Tunisia relative to the region. Real growth slowed to a 15-year low of 1.9% in 2002 because of agricultural drought and lackluster tourism. Better rains in 2003 through 2005, however, helped push GDP growth to about 5% for these years. Tourism also recovered after the end of combat operations in Iraq. Tunisia is gradually removing barriers to trade with the EU. Broader privatization, further liberalization of the investment code to increase foreign investment, improvements in government efficiency, and reduction of the trade deficit are among the challenges ahead.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$83.54 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$30.94 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.3% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8,300 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 13.2%
industry: 31.8%
services: 55% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.41 million
note: shortage of skilled labor (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 55%
industry: 23%
services: 22% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.2% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
7.4% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 31.8% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
40 (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $7.322 billion
expenditures: $8.304 billion; including capital expenditures of $1.6 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
59.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
olives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruit, sugar beets, dates, almonds; beef, dairy products
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.9% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.56 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.76 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
10 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
5 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
76,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
90,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.7 billion bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.15 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.84 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.58 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
77.87 billion cu m (2005)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$359.2 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10.3 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, agricultural products, hydrocarbons
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 31.1%, Italy 20.9%, Germany 9.7%, Spain 5.5%, Libya 4.2% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12.86 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 24.7%, Italy 22.1%, Germany 9.2%, Spain 5.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.375 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$16.09 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$114.6 million (2002)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Tunisian dinar (TND)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Tunisian dinars per US dollar - 1.2974 (2005), 1.2455 (2004), 1.2885 (2003), 1.4217 (2002), 1.4387 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Tunisia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,203,500 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.563 million (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis; Internet access available
domestic: trunk facilities consist of open-wire lines, coaxial cable, and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 216; 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; two international gateway digital switches
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 7, FM 20, shortwave 2 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
26 (plus 76 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.tn
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
426 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
835,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Tunisia Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 14
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 3,059 km; oil 1,203 km; refined products 345 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,152 km
standard gauge: 468 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,674 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified)
dual gauge: 10 km 1.435 m and 1.000-m gauges (three rails) (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 18,997 km
paved: 12,424 km (including 142 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,573 km (2001)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10 ships (1000 GRT or over) 149,142 GRT/118,333 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1
registered in other countries: 3 (Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Skhira
   Military    Tunisia Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force (2003)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months; 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 20-49: 2,441,741
females age 20-49: 2,406,362 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 20-49: 2,035,431
females age 20-49: 2,000,757 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 108,817
females age 20-49: 103,087 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$356 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.5% (FY99)
   Transnational Issues    Tunisia Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook