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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Tunisia  
Flag of Tunisia
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Tunisia

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   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 diffuse 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
total: 163,610 sq km
water: 8,250 sq km
land: 155,360 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
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 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: 19%
permanent crops: 13%
other: 68% (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
9,815,644 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 27.8% (male 1,412,625; female 1,320,729)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 3,234,770; female 3,233,149)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 303,093; female 311,278) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.12% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
16.83 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
27.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 74.16 years
female: 75.89 years (2002 est.)
male: 72.56 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.04% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
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: 66.7%
male: 78.6%
female: 54.6% (1995 est.)
   Government    Tunisia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Tunisia
conventional short form: Tunisia
local short form: Tunis
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Tunis
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
23 governorates; Ariana (Aryanah), Beja (Bajah), Ben Arous (Bin 'Arus), Bizerte (Banzart), El Kef (Al Kaf), Gabes (Qabis), Gafsa (Qafsah), Jendouba (Jundubah), Kairouan (Al Qayrawan), Kasserine (Al Qasrayn), Kebili (Qibili), Mahdia (Al Mahdiyah), 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 1999 (next to be held NA 2004); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected for a third term without opposition; percent of vote - Zine El Abidine BEN ALI nearly 100%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (182 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 24 October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - RCD 92%; seats by party - RCD 148, MDS 13, UDU 7, PUP 7, Al-Tajdid 5, PSL 2; note - reforms enabled opposition parties to win up to 20% of seats, increasing the number of seats they hold from 19 in the last election to 34 now
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, AL, AMF, AMU, BSEC (observer), CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Hatem ATALLAH
FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850
chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Rust M. DEMING
embassy: 144 Avenue de la Liberte, 1002 Tunis-Belvedere
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [216] (1) 782-566
FAX: [216] (1) 789-719
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 averaged 5.4% in the past five years, and inflation is slowing. Growth in tourism and increased trade have been key elements in this steady growth, although tourism revenues have slowed since 11 September 2001 and may take a year or more to fully recover. Tunisia's association agreement with the European Union entered into force on 1 March 1998, the first such accord between the EU and a Mediterranean country. Under the agreement Tunisia will gradually remove barriers to trade with the EU over the next decade. Broader privatization, further liberalization of the investment code to increase foreign investment, and improvements in government efficiency are among the challenges for the future.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $64.5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $6,600 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 13%
industry: 33%
services: 54% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
6% (2000 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
2.7% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
2.69 million (2001 est.)
note: shortage of skilled labor
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
services 55%, industry 23%, agriculture 22% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
15.6% (2000 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $5.7 billion
expenditures: $6.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.5 billion (2001 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.2% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
10.3 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 99.03%
hydro: 0.97%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
9.562 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
19 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
2 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
olives, olive oil, grain, dairy products, tomatoes, citrus fruit, beef, sugar beets, dates, almonds
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$6.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, agricultural products, hydrocarbons
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 28%, Italy 21%, Germany 14%, Belgium 6%, Libya (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$8.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, food
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 30%, Italy 21%, Germany 11%, Spain 4%, Belgium (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$11.5 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$933.2 million (1995); note - ODA, $90 million (1998 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Tunisian dinar (TND)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
TND
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Tunisian dinars per US dollar - 1.44 (January 2002), 1.3753 (2001), 1.3707 (2000), 1.1862 (1999), 1.1387 (1998), 1.1059 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Tunisia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
654,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
50,000 (1998)
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: 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)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
2.06 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
26 (plus 76 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
920,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.tn
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
280,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Tunisia
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,168 km
standard gauge: 471 km 1.435-m gauge
dual gauge: 10 km 1.000-m and 1.435-m gauges (three rails) (2001)
narrow gauge: 1,687 km 1.000-m gauge
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 23,100 km
paved: 18,226 km
unpaved: 4,874 km (1996)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 797 km; petroleum products 86 km; natural gas 742 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Sfax, Sousse, Tunis, Zarzis
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 16 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 150,710 GRT/162,616 DWT
ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 4, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 1 (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
30 (2001)
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 (2001)
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 (2001)
   Military    Tunisia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary forces, National Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,806,881 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,597,565 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 105,146 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$356 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.5% (FY99)
   Transnational Issues    Tunisia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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