Statistical information Tunisia 1996Tunisia

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

Tunisia in the World
Tunisia in the World


Tunisia - Introduction 1996
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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 1996
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Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 163,610 km²
Land: 155,360 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Georgia

Land boundaries: Total 1,424 km, Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km

Coastline: 1,148 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
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

Extremes lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m
Extremes highest point: Jabal ash Shanabi 1,544 m

Natural resources:
Iron ore

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 10%
Permanent pastures: 19%
Forests and woodland: 4%
Other: 47%

Irrigated land: 2,750 km² (1989)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Tunisia - People 1996
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9,019,687 (July 1996 est.)
8,879,845 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.81% (1996 est.)
1.69% (1995 est.)

Noun: Tunisian(s)
Adjective: Tunisian

Ethnic groups:
Arab-Berber 98%
European 1%
Jewish less than 1%

Languages: Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)

Muslim 98%
Christian 1%
Jewish 1%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
34% (male 1,583,636; female 1,489,784) (July 1996 est.)
35% (male 1,563,411; female 1,507,866) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
61% (male 2,738,013; female 2,719,998) (July 1996 est.)
60% (male 2,672,712; female 2,665,586) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
5% (male 254,403; female 233,853) (July 1996 est.)
5% (male 244,069; female 226,201) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.81% (1996 est.)
1.69% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
24.03 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
22.52 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.18 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
4.86 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.74 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
-0.74 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and presents human health risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Current issues Natural hazards: NA
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified_Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation
International agreements note: Strategic location in central Mediterranean

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.09 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.03 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:35.1 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
32.3 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72.6 years (1996 est.), 73.25 years (1995 est.)
Male: 71.27 years (1996 est.), 71.16 years (1995 est.)
Female: 74.03 years 91,996 est.), 75.44 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.92 children born/woman (1996 est.)
2.73 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 66.7%
Male: 78.6%
Female: 54.6%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Tunisia - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Tunisia
Conventional short form: Tunisia
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
Local short form: Tunis

Government type: Republic

Capital: Tunis

Administrative divisions: 23 governorates; Beja, Ben Arous, Bizerte, Gabes, Gafsa, Jendouba, Kairouan, Kasserine, Kebili, L'Ariana, Le Kef, Mahdia, Medenine, Monastir, Nabeul, Sfax, Sidi Bou Zid, Siliana, Sousse, Tataouine, Tozeur, Tunis, Zaghouan

Dependent areas

Independence: 20 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 20 March (1956)

Constitution: 1 June 1959; amended 12 July 1988

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: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987); election last held 20 March 1994 (next to be held NA 1999); results_President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI was reelected without opposition
Head of government: Prime Minister Hamed KAROUI (since 26 September 1989)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: Unicameral Chamber of Deputies (Majlis Al-Nuwaab):Elections last held 20 March 1994 (next to be held NA 1999; results_RCD 97.7%, MDS 1.0%, others 1.3%; seats_(163 total) RCD 144, MDS 10, others 9; note_the government changed the electoral code to guarantee that the opposition won seats

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation (Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: 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, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNAMIR, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation

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 1996
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Economy overview: Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Detailed governmental control of economic affairs has gradually lessened over the past decade, including increasing privatization of trade and commerce, simplification of the tax structure, and a cautious approach to debt. Real growth has averaged 4.2% in 1991-95, and inflation has been moderate. Growth in tourism and IMF support have been key elements in this solid record. Drought, especially in the south, held back GDP growth in 1995. Further privatization and further improvements in government administrative efficiency are among the challenges for the future.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.4% (1994 est.)

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

Mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore)

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 5% (1989; accounts for 22% of GDP, including petroleum

Labor force: 2.917 million (1993 est.)
By occupation services: 55%
By occupation industry: 23%
By occupation agriculture: 22% (1995 est.)
By occupation note: Shortage of skilled labor
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 16.2% (1993 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $4.3 billion
Expenditures: $5.5 billion, including capital expenditures to NA (1993 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

total value. $4.7 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
$4.6 billion (f.o.b., 1993)

Agricultural products
Phosphates and chemicals

EU countries 75%
Middle East 10%
Algeria 2%
India 2%
U.S. 1%

Total value:
$6.6 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
$6.5 billion (c.i.f., 1993)

Industrial goods and equipment 57%
Hydrocarbons 13%
Food 12%
Consumer goods

EU countries 70%
U.S. 5%
Middle East 2%
Japan 2%
Switzerland 1%
Algeria 1%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $7.7 billion (1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Tunisian dinars (TD) per US$1_0.9635 (January 1996), 0.9458 (1995), 1.0116 (1994), 1.0037 (1993), 0.8844 (1992), 0.9246 (1991), 0.8783 (1990)

Tunisia - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 5.4 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 595 kWh (1993)

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 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 233,000 telephones (1987 est.); the system is above the African average; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis
Local: NA
Intercity: facilities consist of open-wire lines, coaxial cable, and microwave radio relay
International: 5 submarine cables; 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 ARABSAT earth station with back-up control station; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Tunisia - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $535 million, 2.8% of GDP (1995), $549 million, 3% of GDP (1994)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Tunisia - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 29
With paved runways over 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 6

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 3
2438 to 3047 m: 6
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 6 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 6

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: Crude oil 797 km; petroleum products 86 km; natural gas 742 km




Merchant marine
Total: 19 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 125,840 GRT/164,277 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 6, cargo 4, chemical tanker 3, oil tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 3, short-sea passenger 1 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Tunisia - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

The Fives Hotels

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