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  Tunisia  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2004.


This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


Map of Tunisia

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Tunisia
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. In recent years, Tunisia has 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
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:
Definition Field Listing
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: 17.86%
permanent crops: 13.74%
other: 68.4% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
3,800 sq km (1998 est.)
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
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9,974,722 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 26% (male 1,337,546; female 1,253,814)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 3,373,199; female 3,360,402)
65 years and over: 6.5% (male 315,151; female 334,610) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26.8 years
male: 26.3 years
female: 27.3 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.01% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.74 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.05 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 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 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 25.76 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 28.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 22.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 74.66 years
male: 73 years
female: 76.44 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.79 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.04% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
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: 74.2%
male: 84%
female: 64.4% (2003 est.)
   Government    Tunisia
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:
Definition Field Listing
Tunis
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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 12 July 1988
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French civil law system and Islamic 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; 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
unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (189 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 24 October 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Al-Tajdid Movement [Adel CHAOUCH]; 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 Democratic Socialists or MDS [Khamis CHAMMARI]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed Belhaj AMOR]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Abderrahmane TLILI]
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, ISO, ITU, LAS, MICAH, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Hatem ATALLAH
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, 2045 La Goulette, Tunisia
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [216] 71 107-000
FAX: [216] 71 962-115
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
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. Real growth, averaging 5% for the latter half of the last decade, slowed to a 15-year low of 1.9% in 2002 because of agricultural drought, slow investment, and lackluster tourism. Better rains in 2003, however, pushed GDP growth up to an estimated 6 percent, and tourism also recovered after the end of combat operations in Iraq. GDP growth remained at 6% in 2004. Tunisia has agreed to gradually remove barriers to trade with the European Union over the next decade. 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 for the future.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $68.23 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.1% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $6,900 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 13.9%
industry: 32.2%
services: 53.9% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.2% of GDP (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
7.6% (2001 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
41.7 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.7% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.461 million
note: shortage of skilled labor (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
services 55%, industry 23%, agriculture 22% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.3% (2004 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $6.101 billion
expenditures: $6.855 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.6 billion (2004 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
59.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
olives, olive oil, grain, dairy products, tomatoes, citrus fruit, beef, sugar beets, dates, almonds
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
-0.1% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.48 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.748 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
1 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
72,580 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
87,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
417 million bbl (2004)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.25 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.83 billion cu m (2001 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
77.16 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-738.6 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8.035 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, agricultural products, hydrocarbons
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 32.6%, Italy 21.9%, Germany 10.7%, Spain 4.7%, Libya 4.4% (2003)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10.3 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 26.1%, Italy 19.8%, Germany 8.9%, Spain 5.2% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.949 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$14.39 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$378 million (2001)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Tunisian dinar (TND)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
TND
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Tunisian dinars per US dollar - 1.2885 (2003), 1.4217 (2002), 1.4387 (2001), 1.3707 (2000), 1.1862 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Tunisia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,163,800 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,899,900 (2003)
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
281 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
630,000 (2003)
   Transportation    Tunisia
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) (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 18,997 km
paved: 12,310 km (including 142 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,687 km (2000)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 3,059 km; oil 1,203 km; refined products 345 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Sfax, Sousse, Tunis, Zarzis
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 124,733 GRT/122,664 DWT
by type: bulk 2, cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 1, short-sea/passenger 3
registered in other countries: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
30 (2003 est.)
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 (2003 est.)
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 (2003 est.)
   Military    Tunisia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,918,524 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,655,910 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 106,565 (2004 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
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


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