Statistical information Tunisia 1990Tunisia

Map of Tunisia | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Tunisia in the World
Tunisia in the World

Economy Bookings

Tunisia - Introduction 1990
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Background: Following independence from France in 1956 President Habib BOURGIUBA 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.

Tunisia - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 1,424 km total; Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km

Coastline: 1,148 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea: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


Natural resources: crude oil, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt
Land use

Land use: 20% arable land; 10% permanent crops; 19% meadows and pastures; 4% forest and woodland; 47% other; includes 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: strategic location in central Mediterranean; only 144 km from Italy across the Strait of Sicily; borders Libya on east

Tunisia - People 1990
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Population: 8,095,492 (July 1990), growth rate 2.2% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Tunisian(s; adjective--Tunisian

Ethnic groups: 98% Arab, 1% European, less than 1% Jewish

Languages: Arabic (official; Arabic and French (commerce)

Religions: 98% Muslim, 1% Christian, less than 1% Jewish

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 28 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 6 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 40 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 68 years male, 70 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 4.0 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 62% (est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Tunisia - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Tunisia; note--may be changed to Tunisian Republic

Government type: republic

Capital: Tunis

Administrative divisions: 23 governorates (wilayat, singular--wilayah; Al Kaf, Al Mahdiyah, Al Munastir, Al Qasrayn, Al Qayrawan, Aryanah, Bajah, Banzart, Bin Arus, Jundubah, Madanin, Nabul, Qabis, Qafsah, Qibili, Safaqis, Sidi Bu Zayd, Silyanah, Susah, Tatawin, Tawzar, Tunis, Zaghwan

Dependent areas

Independence: 20 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 20 March (1956)

Constitution: 1 June 1959

Legal system: based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 20

Executive branch: Chief of State--President Gen. Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987; Head of Government--Prime Minister Hamed KAROUI (since 26 September 1989)

Legislative branch: Army, Navy, Air Force

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation (Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, Arab League, AIOEC, CCC, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB--Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOOC, ITU, IWC--International Wheat Council, NAM, OAPEC, OAU, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Abdelaziz HAMZAOUI; Chancery at 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,005; telephone (202) 862-1850; US--Ambassador Robert H. PELLETREAU, Jr.; Embassy at 144 Avenue de la Liberte, 1002 Tunis-Belvedere; telephone p216o (1) 782-566

Flag descriptionflag of Tunisia: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Tunisia - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: The economy depends primarily on petroleum, phosphates, and tourism for continued growth. Two successive drought-induced crop failures have strained the government's budget and increased unemployment. The current account fell from a $23 million surplus in 1988 to a $390 million deficit in 1989. Despite its foreign payments problems, Tunis appears committed to its IMF-supported structural adjustment program. Nonetheless, the government may have to slow its implementation to head off labor unrest. The increasing foreign debt--$7.6 billion at yearend 1989--is also a key problem. Tunis probably will seek debt relief in 1990.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 16% of GDP and one-third of labor force; output subject to severe fluctuations because of frequent droughts; export crops--olives, dates, oranges, almonds; other products--grain, sugar beets, wine grapes, poultry, beef, dairy; not self-sufficient in food; fish catch of 99,200 metric tons (1986)

Industries: petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), textiles, footwear, food, beverages

Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (1988)

Labor force: 2,250,000; 32% agriculture; shortage of skilled labor
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 25% (1989)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $2.9 billion; expenditures $3.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $0.8 billion (1989 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $3.1 billion (f.o.b., 1989)
Commodities: hydrocarbons, agricultural products, phosphates and chemicals
Partners: EC 73%, Middle East 9%, US 1%, Turkey, USSR

Imports: $4.4 billion (f.o.b., 1989)
Commodities: industrial goods and equipment 57%, hydrocarbons 13%, food 12%, consumer goods
Partners: EC 68%, US 7%, Canada, Japan, USSR, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $7.6 billion (December 1989)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Tunisian dinars (TD) per US$1--0.9055 (January 1990), 0.9493 (1989), 0.8578 (1988), 0.8287 (1987), 0.7940 (1986), 0.8345 (1985)

Tunisia - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Tunisia - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Tunisia - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 2.7% of GDP, or $235 million (1989 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Tunisia - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 30 total, 28 usable; 13 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 7 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: 797 km crude oil; 86 km refined products; 742 km natural gas




Merchant marine: 21 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 160,172 GRT/218,970 DWT; includes 1 short-sea passenger, 4 cargo, 2 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 2 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 6 chemical tanker, 1 liquefied gas, 5 bulk

Ports and terminals

Tunisia - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: maritime boundary dispute with Libya

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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