Tunisia Flag Icon

Tunisia Country Guide

Explore Tunisia in Africa

Tunisia with the capital city Tunis is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 163,611 square kilometres (slightly larger than Georgia) with 10,378,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The terrain features mountains in north with hot, dry central plain and semiarid south merges into the Sahara. The average density of population is approximately 63 per km². The notable climate conditions in Tunisia can be described as temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers with desert in south. Potential natural disasters are NA.

To reach someone in Tunisia dial +216 prior to a number. There are 1,279,000 installed telephones. And there are 9,754,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".tn". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Tunisia

Red with a white disk in the center bearing a red crescent nearly encircling a red five-pointed star; resembles the Ottoman flag (red banner with white crescent and star) and recalls Tunisia's history as part of the Ottoman Empire; red represents the blood shed by martyrs in the struggle against oppression, white stands for peace; the crescent and star are traditional symbols of Islam
note: the flag is based on that of Turkey, itself a successor state to the Ottoman Empire.

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. Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty, and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a "national unity government" was formed. Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef MARZOUKI as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012, and released a second working draft in December 2012. The interim government has proposed presidential and parliamentary elections be held in 2013.


Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Algeria, Libya
Capital: Tunis
Size 163,610 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 63,170 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Georgia
Population 10,378,000
Currency Name: Dinar, Currency Code: TND
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .tn
Telephone Country Prefix +216
Mobile Phone Connections 9,754,000
Landline Phone Connections 1,279,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).

Geography

Value name Value World Rank
Area 163,610 (sq km) 93

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 10,835,873 79
Population growth rate 0.95 (%) 120
Birth rate 17.12 (births/1,000 population) 112
Death rate 5.90 (deaths/1,000 population) 169
Net migration rate -1.76 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 157
Maternal mortality rate 56.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 103
Infant mortality rate 24.07 (deaths/1,000 live births) 79
Life expectancy at birth 75.46 (years) 93
Total fertility rate 2.01 (children born/woman) 127
Health expenditures 6.20 (% of GDP) 102
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 162
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 2,400 133
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 117
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 22.30 (%) 80
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 3.30 (%) 109
Education expenditures 6.20 (% of GDP) 35
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 30.7 (%) 21

Economy

Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 107,100,000,000 70
GDP - real growth rate 3.60 (%) 93
GDP - per capita (PPP) 9,900 120
Labor force 4,014,000 91
Unemployment rate 18.80 (%) 157
Distribution of family income - Gini index 40 61
Investment (gross fixed) 23.10 (% of GDP) 64
Taxes and other revenues 23.3 (% of GDP) 134
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -8.30 (% of GDP) 200
Public debt 52.30 (% of GDP) 58
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.90 (%) 156
Commercial bank prime lending rate 6.76 (%) 132
Stock of narrow money 13,830,000,000 71
Stock of broad money 31,060,000,000 75
Stock of domestic credit 37,010,000,000 69
Market value of publicly traded shares 10,680,000,000 72
Industrial production growth rate -6.40 (%) 165
Current account balance -3,570,000,000 152
Exports 17,870,000,000 77
Imports 23,490,000,000 72
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 7,424,000,000 79
Debt - external 25,400,000,000 75
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 33,660,000,000 59
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 345,000,000 81

Energy

Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 14,760,000,000 (kWh) 85
Electricity - consumption 12,750,000,000 (kWh) 82
Electricity - exports 81,000,000 (kWh) 75
Electricity - imports 122,000,000 (kWh) 91
Electricity - installed generating capacity 3648000 (kW) 82
Electricity - from fossil fuels 96.9 (% of total installed capacity) 64
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 1.7 (% of total installed capacity) 140
Electricity - from other renewable sources 1.4 (% of total installed capacity) 68
Crude oil - production 70,480 (bbl/day) 55
Crude oil - exports 65,960 (bbl/day) 43
Crude oil - imports 24,580 (bbl/day) 68
Crude oil - proved reserves 425000000 (bbl) 54
Refined petroleum products - production 36,670 (bbl/day) 90
Refined petroleum products - consumption 88,380 (bbl/day) 83
Refined petroleum products - exports 15,270 (bbl/day) 80
Refined petroleum products - imports 74,600 (bbl/day) 55
Natural gas - production 2,030,000,000 (cu m) 57
Natural gas - consumption 3,280,000,000 (cu m) 72
Natural gas - imports 1,250,000,000 (cu m) 55
Natural gas - proved reserves 65,130,000,000 (cu m) 63
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 18,720,000 (Mt) 86

Communications

Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 1,218,000 69
Telephones - mobile cellular 12,388,000 63
Internet hosts 576 180
Internet users 3,500,000 60

Transportation

Value name Value World Rank
Airports 29 118
Railways 2,165 (km) 68
Roadways 19,232 (km) 110
Merchant marine 9 116

Military

Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.50 (% of GDP) 98

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Amphitheatre of El Jem
The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35,000 spectators, are found in the small village of El Jem. This 3rd-century monument illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome. ...
1979
Archaeological Site of Carthage
Carthage was founded in the 9th century B.C. on the Gulf of Tunis. From the 6th century onwards, it developed into a great trading empire covering much of the Mediterranean and was home to a brilliant civilization. In the course of the long Punic war ...
1979
Dougga / Thugga
Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, the town of Thugga, built on an elevated site overlooking a fertile plain, was the capital of an important Libyco-Punic state. It flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, but declined in the Islamic period. T ...
1997
Ichkeul National Park
The Ichkeul lake and wetland are a major stopover point for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, such as ducks, geese, storks and pink flamingoes, who come to feed and nest there. Ichkeul is the last remaining lake in a chain that once extended ...
1980
Kairouan
Founded in 670, Kairouan flourished under the Aghlabid dynasty in the 9th century. Despite the transfer of the political capital to Tunis in the 12th century, Kairouan remained the Maghreb's principal holy city. Its rich architectural heritage includ ...
1988
Medina of Sousse
Sousse was an important commercial and military port during the Aghlabid period (800–909) and is a typical example of a town dating from the first centuries of Islam. With its kasbah, ramparts, medina (with the Great Mosque), Bu Ftata Mosque and ty ...
1988
Medina of Tunis
Under the Almohads and the Hafsids, from the 12th to the 16th century, Tunis was considered one of the greatest and wealthiest cities in the Islamic world. Some 700 monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and fountains, testify to ...
1979
Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis
This Phoenician city was probably abandoned during the First Punic War (c. 250 B.C.) and as a result was not rebuilt by the Romans. The remains constitute the only example of a Phoenicio-Punic city to have survived. The houses were built to a standar ...
1985