Tunisia

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Tunisia
Background:
Definition Field Listing 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. BEN ALI is currently serving his fourth consecutive five-year term as president; the next elections are scheduled for October 2009. 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
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
exclusive economic zone: 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: 17.05%
permanent crops: 13.08%
other: 69.87% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 3,940 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 4.6 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 2.64 cu km/yr (14%/4%/82%)
per capita: 261 cu m/yr (2000)
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 10,383,577 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 23.2% (male 1,246,105/female 1,167,379)
15-64 years: 69.7% (male 3,638,062/female 3,595,254)
65 years and over: 7.1% (male 345,590/female 391,187) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 28.8 years
male: 28.2 years
female: 29.3 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 0.989% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 15.5 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.17 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -0.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 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: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 23.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 75.56 years
male: 73.79 years
female: 77.46 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.73 children born/woman (2008 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 fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
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 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.3% of GDP (2005)
   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 name: Tunis
geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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); also the anniversary of BEN ALI's assumption of the presidency, 7 November (1987)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing 1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002
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; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing 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:
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 on 24 October 2004 (next to be held in 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 on 24 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009); Chamber of Advisors - last held on 3 July 2005 (next to be held in 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 (due to boycott))
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Al-Tajdid Movement [Ahmed IBRAHIM]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or RCD (official ruling party) [President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI]; Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties or FDTL [Mustapha Ben JAFAAR]; Green Party for Progress or PVP [Mongi KHAMASSI]; Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mondher THABET]; Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA]; Progressive Democratic Party [Maya JERIBI]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Ahmed INOUBLI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing 18 October Group [collective leadership]; Tunisian League for Human Rights or LTDH [Mokhtar TRIFI]; note - the Islamist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC (suspended), OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) Charge D'Affaires Tarek Ben YOUSSEF
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 Robert F. GODEC
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] 71 107-090
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
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, 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, which averaged almost 5% over the past decade, reached 6.3% in 2007 because of development in non-textile manufacturing, a recovery in agricultural production, and strong growth in the services sector. However, Tunisia will need to reach even higher growth levels to create sufficient employment opportunities for an already large number of unemployed as well as the growing population of university graduates. 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 $76.07 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $35.01 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $7,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 11.6%
industry: 25.7%
services: 62.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.593 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 55%
industry: 23%
services: 22% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 14.1% (2007 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%: 31.5% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing 40 (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 23.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $8.466 billion
expenditures: $9.475 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 55.4% of GDP (2007 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 7.2% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 12.85 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 11.17 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 76,900 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 90,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 75,060 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 85,680 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.7 billion bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.398 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4.124 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.726 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 74.68 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -$905 million (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $15.15 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing France 30.6%, Italy 20.5%, Germany 8.4%, Spain 5.4%, Libya 5.1% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $18.02 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing France 24%, Italy 22.2%, Germany 9.8%, Spain 5.1% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $376.5 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $7.854 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $19.27 billion (December 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $26.22 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $118 million (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $4.446 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing Tunisian dinar (TND)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing Tunisian dinars per US dollar - 1.2776 (2007), 1.331 (2006), 1.2974 (2005), 1.2455 (2004), 1.2885 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing calendar year
   Communications    Tunisia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.273 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.842 million (2007)
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: in an effort jumpstart expansion of the fixed-line network, the government has awarded a concession to build and operate a VSAT network with international connectivity; competition between the two mobile-cellular service providers has resulted in lower activation and usage charges and a strong surge in subscribership; overall fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 85 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
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 7, FM 38, shortwave 2 (2007)
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 1,163 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.722 million (2007)
   Transportation    Tunisia
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 30 (2007)
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 (2007)
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 (2007)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing gas 2,665 km; oil 1,235 km; refined products 353 km (2007)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 2,153 km
standard gauge: 471 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,674 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified)
dual gauge: 8 km 1.435 m and 1.000-m gauges (three rails) (2006)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 19,232 km
paved: 12,655 km (includes 262 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,577 km (2004)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 7 ships (1000 GRT or over) 118,908 GRT/72,506 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 4
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Rades, Sfax, Skhira
   Military    Tunisia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Army, Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At'tunisia) (2008)
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 (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 2,992,249
females age 16-49: 2,912,819 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 2,539,962
females age 16-49: 2,465,295 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 101,794
female: 95,198 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.4% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Tunisia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing none


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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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