Tunisia Population: 10,835,873


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Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country's first 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. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty, and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a "national unity government" was formed. Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef MARZOUKI as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012, and released a second working draft in December 2012. The interim government has proposed presidential and parliamentary elections be held in 2013.

Strategic location in central Mediterranean; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya
Geographic coordinates: 34 00 N, 9 00 E
Area: total: 163,610 sq km
land: 155,360 sq km
water: 8,250 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Georgia
Land Boundaries: total: 1,424 km
border countries: Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km
Coastline: 1,148 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 12 nm
Climate: temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south
Terrain: mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m
highest point: Jebel ech Chambi 1,544 m
Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt
Land use: arable land: 17.35%
permanent crops: 14.63%
other: 68.02% (2011)
Irrigated land: 3,970 sq km (2003)
Current Environment Issues: toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses health risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural freshwater resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
International Environment Agreements: 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
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Nationality: noun: Tunisian(s)
adjective: Tunisian
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Languages: Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight)
Religions: Muslim (Islam - official) 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Population: 10,835,873 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23% (male 1,286,781/female 1,206,678)
15-24 years: 16.5% (male 899,534/female 890,909)
25-54 years: 44.7% (male 2,356,154/female 2,484,023)
55-64 years: 8.1% (male 442,983/female 429,767)
65 years and over: 7.7% (male 411,590/female 427,454) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 43.6 %
youth dependency ratio: 33.3 %
elderly dependency ratio: 10.3 %
potential support ratio: 9.7 (2013)
Median age: total: 31 years
male: 30.5 years
female: 31.3 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.95% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 17.12 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 66.3% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.34% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: TUNIS (capital) 759,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 56 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 24.07 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 27.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.46 years
male: 73.4 years
female: 77.66 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.01 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 63% (2012)
Health expenditures: 6.2% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 1.19 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density: 2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 94% of population

urban: 1% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 6% of population (2008 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 64% of population
total: 85% of population

urban: 4% of population
rural: 36% of population
total: 15% of population (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,400 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 22.3% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 3.3% (2006)
Education expenditures: 6.2% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.1%
male: 87.4%
female: 71.1% (2010 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2011)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 30.7%
male: 31.4%
female: 29.3% (2005)
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Country name: conventional long form: Tunisian Republic
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: Tunis
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Tunis
geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 24 governorates (wilayat, singular - wilayah); 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: 20 March 1956 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 20 March (1956); Revolution and Youth Day, 14 January (2011)
Constitution: note - the Constituent Assembly formed in October 2011 and charged with writing a new constitution completed a draft in April 2013
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil law, based on the French civil code, and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal except for active government security forces (including the police and the military), people with mental disabilities, people who have served more than three months in prison (criminal cases only), and people given a suspended sentence of more than six months
Executive branch:

note: Tunisia's interim government was appointed in December 2011 and will remain in power pending drafting of a new constitution and holding of general elections in 2013 chief of state: President Moncef MARZOUKI (since 12 December 2011)

head of government: Prime Minister Ali LAAREYDH (since 27 February 2013)

cabinet: selected by the prime minister and approved by the Constituent Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by Constituent Assembly; election last held on 12 December 2011(next to be held in 2013); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: President MARZOUKI elected by Constituent Assembly with 153 of 156 votes
Legislative branch: unicameral Constituent Assembly (217 seats); note - the legislative role of the Constituent Assembly remains unclear

elections: initial election of 217 Constituent Assembly members held on 23 October 2011 (next to be held on 23 June 2013)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - al-Nahda 89, CPR 29, Popular Petition 26, FDTL 20, PDP 16, PDM 5, The Initiative 5, Afek Tounes 4, PCOT 3, other minor parties each with fewer than three seats 20
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (organized into civil and criminal chambers and consists of NA judges) note - drafting of a new constitution was begun in February 2012 judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Higher Magistracy Council (also called the Superior Council of the Judiciary), a 7-member body of judges and prosecutors; judges appointed by presidential decree; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: Administrative Court; Courts of Appeal; Housing Court; courts of first instance; lower district courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders: Afek Tounes [Emna MINF] Alliance for Tunisia (a coalition of Tunisia's Call [Beji Caid ESSEBSI], Republican Party [Maya JRIBI and Najib CHBBI],Democratic Path [Ahmed BRAHIM]) al-Nahda (The Renaissance) [Rachid GHANNOUCHI] Congress Party for the Republic or CPR [Moncef MARZOUKI] Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties or FDTL (Ettakatol) [Mustapha Ben JAAFAR] Democratic Modernist Pole or PDM (a coalition) Democratic Socialist Movement or MDS Et-Tajdid Movement [Ahmed IBRAHIM] Green Party for Progress or PVP [Mongi KHAMASSI] Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mondher THABET] Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA] Popular Petition (Aridha Chaabia) [Hachemi HAMDI] Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA] Progressive Democratic Party or PDP [Maya JERIBI] The Initiative [Kamel MORJANE] (formerly the Constitutional Democratic Rally or RCD) Tunisian Workers' Communist Party or PCOT [Hamma HAMMAMI] Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Ahmed INOUBLI]
Political pressure groups and leaders: 18 October Group [collective leadership] Tunisian League for Human Rights or LTDH [Mokhtar TRIFI]
International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), CD, EBRD, FAO, G-11, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): encircled red star and crescent
National anthem: name: "Humat Al Hima" (Defenders of the Homeland)
lyrics/music: Mustafa Sadik AL-RAFII and Aboul-Qacem ECHEBBI/Mohamad Abdel WAHAB

note: adopted 1957, replaced 1958, restored 1987; Mohamad Abdel WAHAB also composed the music for the anthem of the United Arab Emirates
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kais DARRAGI
chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850
FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jake WALLES
embassy: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 1053
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [216] 71 107-000
FAX: [216] 71 963-263
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Tunisia's diverse, market-oriented economy has long been cited as a success story in Africa and the Middle East, but it faces an array of challenges during the country's ongoing political transition. Following an ill-fated experiment with socialist economic policies in the 1960s, Tunisia embarked on a successful strategy focused on bolstering exports, foreign investment, and tourism, all of which have become central to the country''s economy. Key exports now include textiles and apparel, food products, petroleum products, chemicals, and phosphates, with about 80% of exports bound for Tunisia''s main economic partner, the European Union. Tunisia''s liberal strategy, coupled with investments in education and infrastructure, fueled decades of 4-5% annual GDP growth and improving living standards. Former President (1987-2011) Zine el Abidine BEN ALI continued these policies, but as his reign wore on cronyism and corruption stymied economic performance and unemployment rose among the country''s growing ranks of university graduates. These grievances contributed to the January 2011 overthrow of BEN ALI, sending Tunisia''s economy into a tailspin as tourism and investment declined sharply. As the economy recovers, Tunisia''s government faces challenges reassuring businesses and investors, bringing budget and current account deficits under control, shoring up the country''s financial system, bringing down high unemployment, and reducing economic disparities between the more developed coastal region and the impoverished interior.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $107.1 billion (2012 est.) $103.4 billion (2011 est.) $105.4 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $45.61 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.6% (2012 est.) -1.9% (2011 est.) 3.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,900 (2012 est.) $9,700 (2011 est.) $10,000 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 22.3% of GDP (2012 est.) 23.2% of GDP (2011 est.) 26.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 66.6%
government consumption: 19%
investment in fixed capital: 22.3%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 49.4%
imports of goods and services: -57.3% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 66.6%
government consumption: 19%
investment in fixed capital: 22.3%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 49.4%
imports of goods and services: -57.3% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: olives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruit, sugar beets, dates, almonds; beef, dairy products
Industries: petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Industrial production growth rate: -0.8% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 3.914 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 18.3%
industry: 31.9%
services: 49.8% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate: 17.4% (2012 est.) 19% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 3.8% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 31.5% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 40 (2005 est.) 41.7 (1995 est.)
Budget: revenues: $11.88 billion
expenditures: $13.08 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 26.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 46.8% of GDP (2012 est.) 44.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.6% (2012 est.) 3.5% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$3.57 billion (2012 est.) -$3.331 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $17.02 billion (2012 est.) $17.88 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment
Exports - partners: France 26.3%, Italy 16%, Germany 9.4%, Libya 7.9%, US 4.3% (2012)
Imports: $23.32 billion (2012 est.) $22.62 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: France 20.2%, Italy 16.9%, Germany 7.5%, China 6.1%, Spain 5.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $8.36 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $7.457 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $25.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $22.34 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $33.01 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $31.84 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $285 million (31 December 2012 est.) $285 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $9.662 billion (31 December 2011) $10.68 billion (31 December 2010) $9.12 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: Tunisian dinars (TND) per US dollar - 1.5619 (2012 est.) 1.4078 (2011 est.) 1.4314 (2010 est.) 1.3503 (2009) 1.211 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 14.76 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 84
Electricity - consumption: 12.75 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 81 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports: 122 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 3.648 million kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 96.9% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 1.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 70,480 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 65,960 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 24,580 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 425 million bbl (1 January 2012 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 36,670 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 88,380 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 15,270 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 74,600 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 2.03 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 3.28 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.25 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 65.13 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 18.72 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 1.218 million (2011)
country comparison to the world: 69
Cellular Phones in use: 12.388 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis; telephone network is completely digitized; Internet access available throughout the country

domestic: in an effort to jumpstart expansion of the fixed-line network, the government has awarded a concession to build and operate a VSAT network with international connectivity; rural areas are served by wireless local loops; competition between the two mobile-cellular service providers has resulted in lower activation and usage charges and a strong surge in subscribership; a third mobile, fixed, and ISP operator was licensed in 2009 and began offering services in 2010; expansion of mobile-cellular services to include multimedia messaging and e-mail and Internet to mobile phone services also leading to a surge in subscribership; overall fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity has reached about 125 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 216; a landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; 2 international gateway digital switches (2011)
Broadcast media: broadcast media is mainly government-controlled; the state-run Tunisian Radio and Television Establishment (ERTT) operates 2 national TV networks, several national radio networks, and a number of regional radio stations; 1 TV and 3 radio stations are privately owned and report domestic news stories directly from the official Tunisian news agency; the state retains control of broadcast facilities and transmitters through L'Office National de la Telediffusion; Tunisians also have access to Egyptian, pan-Arab, and European satellite TV channels (2007)
Internet country code: .tn
Internet hosts: 576 (2012)
Internet users: 3.5 million (2009)
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Airports: 29 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 118
Airports (paved runways): total 15
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 14

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Pipelines: condensate 68 km; gas 3,111 km; oil 1,381 km; refined products 453 km (2013)
Railways: total 2,165 km
standard gauge: 471 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,694 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2008)
Roadways: total 19,232 km
paved: 12,655 km (includes 262 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,577 km (2006)
Merchant marine: total 9

by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 2, passenger/cargo 4, roll on/roll off 2 (2010)
Ports and terminals: Bizerte, Gabes, Rades, Sfax, Skhira
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Military branches: Tunisian Armed Forces (Forces Armees Tunisiens, FAT): Tunisian Army (includes Tunisian Air Defense Force), Tunisian Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At'Tunisia) (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 20-23 years of age for compulsory service, one year service obligation; 18-23 years of age for voluntary service; Tunisian nationality required (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 2,846,572
females age 16-49: 2,952,180 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 2,397,716
females age 16-49: 2,484,097 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 90,436
female: 87,346 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.5% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
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