Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Tunisia Population: 10,383,577
BackgroundRivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the crtion 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 yrs, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from and replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. BEN ALI is currently serving his fourth consecutive five-yr 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.Map data ©2009 Europa Technologies - Terms of Use
GeographyStrategic loion in central Mediterrann; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial ation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration.Loion:Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterrann S, between Aeria and LibyaGeographic coordinates:34 00 N, 9 00 r:total: 163,610 sq km
land: 155,360 sq km
water: 8,250 sq kmSize comparison: slightly larger than Georgia
Land Boundaries:total: 1,424 km
border countries: Aeria 965 km, Libya 459 kmCoastline:1,148 kmMaritime claims:territorial s: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 12 nmClimate:temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in southTerrain:mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the SaharaElevation extremes:lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m
highest point: Jebel ech Chambi 1,544 mNatural resources:petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, ld, zinc, saltLand use:arable land: 17.05%
permanent crops: 13.08%
other: 69.87% (2005)Irrigated land:3,940 sq km (2003)Natural hazards:NACurrent Environment Issues:toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses hlth risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertifiionInternational Environment Agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertifiion, Endangered Species, Environmental Modifiion, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the S, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
PeoplePopulation:10,383,577 (July 2008 est.)Age structure:0-14 yrs: 23.2% (male 1,246,105/female 1,167,379)
15-64 yrs: 69.7% (male 3,638,062/female 3,595,254)
65 yrs and over: 7.1% (male 345,590/female 391,187) (2008 est.)Median age:total: 28.8 yrs
male: 28.2 yrs
female: 29.3 yrs (2008 est.)Population growth rate:0.989% (2008 est.)Birth rate:15.5 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)Dth rate:5.17 dths/1,000 population (2008 est.)Net migration rate:-0.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 yrs: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 yrs: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 yrs and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)Infant mortality rate:total: 23.43 dths/1,000 live births
male: 25.7 dths/1,000 live births
female: 20.98 dths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 75.56 yrs
male: 73.79 yrs
female: 77.46 yrs (2008 est.)Total fertility rate:1.73 children born/woman (2008 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2005 est.)HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:1,000 (2003 est.)HIV/AIDS - dths:fewer than 200 (2003 est.)Nationality:noun: Tunisian(s)
adjective: TunisianEthnic groups:Arab 98%, Europn 1%, Jewish and other 1%Religions:Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%Languages:Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can rd and write
total population: 74.3%
male: 83.4%
female: 65.3% (2004 census)
GovernmentCountry name:conventional long form: Tunisian Republic
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: TunisGovernment type:republicCapital:name: Tunis
geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahd of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in OctoberAdministrative divisions: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:20 March 1956 (from France)National holiday:Independence Day, 20 March (1956); also the anniversary of BEN ALI's assumption of the presidency, 7 November (1987)Constitution:1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002Legal system: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 jurisdictionSuffrage:18 yrs 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 monthsExecutive branch:chief of state: President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987)
hd 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-yr 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:bicameral system consists of the Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (189 sts; members elected by popular vote to serve five-yr terms) and the Chamber of Advisors (126 sts; 85 members elected by municipal counselors, deputies, mayors, and professional associations and trade unions; 41 members are presidential appointees; members serve six-yr 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; sts by party - R 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2; Chamber of Advisors - percent of vote by party - NA; sts by party - R 71 (14 trade union sts vacant (due to boycott))Judicial branch:Court of Cassation or Cour de CassationPolitical parties and lders:Al-Tajdid Movement [Ahmed IBRAHIM]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or R (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]; note - the Islamist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawedPolitical pressure groups and lders:18 October Group [collective ldership]; Tunisian Lgue for Human Rights or LTDH [Mokhtar TRIFI]International organization participation:ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), FAO, G-77, IA, 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, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTODiplomatic representation in the US: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) 862-1858Diplomatic representation from the US: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] 71 963-263
EconomyTunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still hvy has gradually lessened over the past decade with incrsing privatization, simplifiion 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. Rl growth, which averaged almost 5% over the past decade, declined to 4.7% in 2008 and probably will decline further in 2009 because of economic contraction and slowing of import demand in Europe - Tunisia's largest export market. However, development of non-textile manufacturing, a recovery in agricultural production, and strong growth in the services sector somewhat mitigated the economic effect of slowing exports. Tunisia will need to rch even higher growth levels to crte sufficient employment opportunities for an alrdy large of unemployed as well as the growing population of university graduates. The challenges ahd include: privatizing industry, liberalizing the investment to incrse foreign investment, improving government efficiency, reducing the trade deficit, and reducing socioeconomic disparities in the impoverished south and west.GDP (purchasing power parity):$83.4 billion (2008 est.)GDP (official exchange rate):$41.77 billion (2008 est.)GDP - rl growth rate:4.7% (2008 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$8,000 (2008 est.)GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 10.8%
industry: 28.3%
services: 61% (2008 est.)Labor force:3.676 million (2008 est.)Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 55%
industry: 23%
services: 22% (1995 est.)Unemployment rate:14% (2008 est.)Population below poverty line:7.4% (2005 est.)Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 31.5% (2000)Distribution of family income - Gini index:40 (2005 est.)Inflation rate (consumer prices):5% (2008 est.)Investment (gross fixed):24.4% of GDP (2008 est.)Budget:revenues: $9.652 billion
expenditures: $11.03 billion (2008 est.)Public debt:53.1% of GDP (2008 est.)Agriculture - products:
Industries:petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwr, agribusiness, beveragesIndustrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:12.65 billion kWh (2006 est.)Electricity - consumption:10.75 billion kWh (2006 est.)Electricity - exports:135 million kWh (2006 est.)Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2007 est.)Oil - production:86,210 bbl/day (2007 est.)Oil - consumption:91,110 bbl/day (2006 est.)Oil - exports:73,790 bbl/day (2005)Oil - imports:89,130 bbl/day (2005)Oil - proved reserves:400 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)Natural gas - production:2.55 billion cu m (2006 est.)Natural gas - consumption:3.85 billion cu m (2006 est.)Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2007 est.)Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2005)Natural gas - proved reserves:65.13 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)Current account balance:-$993 million (2008 est.)Exports:$19.7 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)Exports - commodities:clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipmentExports - partners:France 31.3%, Italy 21%, Germany 8.5%, Spain 5.5%, Libya 5.5% (2007)Imports:$23 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)Imports - commodities:textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffsImports - partners:France 23.8%, Italy 21.9%, Germany 9.7%, Spain 5%, Libya 4.4% (2007)Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$8.875 billion (31 December 2008 est.)Debt - external:$19.33 billion (31 December 2008 est.)Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:$28.51 billion (2008 est.)Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:$130 million (2008 est.)Market value of publicly traded shares:$5.355 billion (31 December 2007)Currency ():Tunisian dinar (TND)Exchange rates:Tunisian dinars (TND) per US dollar - 1.211 (2008 est.), 1.2776 (2007), 1.331 (2006), 1.2974 (2005), 1.2455 (2004)Fiscal yr:calendar yr
CommuniionsTele in use:1.273 million (2007)Cellular in use:7.842 million (2007)Telephone system:eral assessment: above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; 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 and usage charges and a strong surge in subscribership; expansion of mobile-cellular services to include multimedia messaging and e-mail and Internet to mobile phone services also lding to a surge in subscribership; overall fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 90 tele per 100 persons
international: country - 216; a landing point for the S-ME-WE-4 submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, Middle st, and Asia; satellite rth stations - 1 sat (Atlantic Ocn) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Aeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; 2 international gateway digital switchesRadio broadcast stations:AM 7, FM 38, shortwave 2 (2007)Television broadcast stations:26 (plus 76 repters) (1995)Internet country :.tnInternet hosts:376 (2008)Internet users:1.722 million (2007)
TransportationAirports:30 (2007)Airports (paved runways):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 (unpaved runways):total: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2007)Pipelines:gas 2,665 km; oil 1,235 km; refined products 353 km (2007)Railways: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:total: 19,232 km
paved: 12,655 km (includes 262 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,577 km (2004)Merchant marine:total: 7
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 4
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)Ports and terminals:Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Rades, Sfax, Skhira
Military branches:Army, Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At'tunisia) (2008)Military service age and obligation:20 yrs of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months; 18 yrs of age for voluntary military service (2007)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 2,992,249
females age 16-49: 2,912,819 (2008 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 2,539,962
females age 16-49: 2,465,295 (2008 est.)

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