General overview and information on Tunisia

General Information on Tunisia & Quick Overview

Following independence from France in 1956, the country was governed by a strict one-party regim for 31 years in which Islamic laws and the lack of rights for women were the principles.

However, nowadays Tunisia has moved to a more moderate nation concerning especially its foreign relations even though it still refuses to implement a more open political society depite numerous foreign pressures.

Geographical statistics & Information on Tunisia

Geographical Position: Northern Africa, along the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and Algeria Map Ref Latitude & Longitude: 35 degrees 00’ North, 10 degrees 00’ East Total Land & Sea Area: Total163,000 square kilometres Sea Area 8,000 square kilometres land area 155,000 square kilometres Land boundaries Total1,400 kilometres border countries Algeria 970 kilometres, Libya 460 kilometres Coastal Length 1,000 kilometres

Climatological Conditions & information on Tunisia

Temperate in north while hot in south with the desert

Terrain Features

Mountains in the northern areas; hot, dry plains in the center; arid in the southern areas with the Sahara. Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevationShatt al Gharsah -15 metres Highest elevation Jebel ech Chambi 1,550 metres Country’s natural resources Petroleum, phosphates, iron, lead and zinc mining, salt

Land use

Ploughable land area 18 percent permanent crops 12 percent other: 70 percent (1998 estimate) Irrigated land area 4,000 square kilometres (1998 estimate)

Geographical Point of Interest

Central Mediterranean which is very strategic because Malta and Tunisia are discussing Tunisia to exploit the oil in this area.

People Information on Tunisia

Population 9,925,000 (July 2003 estimate) Age structure under 15 years: 25 percent 15 to 64 years67 percent Over 658 percent Median age of population Total26 years male: 25 years female: 27 years (2002) Population growth rate 1 percent (2003 estimate) Birth rate 16 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) mortality rate 5 deaths per thousand population (2003 estimate) Net rate of migration -0.5 migrant(s) per thousand population (2003 estimate) Infant mortality rate Total27 deaths per thousand live births female: 24 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 30 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth total population: 74 years male: 72 years female: 76 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate 2 children born/woman (2003 estimate)

Nationality

Tunisian

Ethnic groups

Arabic 97 percent, European 1.5 percent, Jewish and other 1.5 percent

Religions

Muslim/Islamic faith 96 percent, Christian 2 percent, Jewish and other 2 percent

Languages & Linguistic Groupings

Arabic (official), French (commerce) Literacy definition People over the age of 15 years that are literate (can read & write): total population: 74 percent male: 84 percent female: 64 percent (2003 estimate)

Government information on Tunisia

Country name Tunisian Republic Government type republic Capital city Tunis Independence 20 March 1956 from Republic of France National holiday Independence Day 20 March (1956) Constitution 1 June 1959; amended 12 July 1988 Legal system Based on French civil law system with Islamic law;

Electoral & Voting System

20 years of age; universal Executive branch Head of StatePresident Chief of Government:Prime Minister Cabinet: Council of Ministers Legislative branch Unicameral Judicial branch Court of Cassation

Economy information on Tunisia

Economy - overview

Tunisia can rely on many sources of revenue such as agriculture, mining, energy, tourism, and a well-developed manufacturing sector.

The control of the economy by the government has always been tough and despite a recent relief with privatisation or a simplification of the tax structure, which led to a 5 percent growth between 1997 and 2001 this heavy control contributed to the 2002 slow down of the economy.

However Tunisia has decided to remove the trade barriers with the European Union and to favour a more liberalized economy with more privatizations, improvements in government efficiency and easier ways to invest.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$USD67 billion (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - actual growth rate 5 percent (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - per head of population: $USD7,000 (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector agriculture 10 percent industry30 percent services60 percent (2003 estimate) Population below poverty line 5 percent (2000 estimate)

Rate of inflation 2 percent (2002 estimate) Labour force 3 million Labour force - by occupation services 50 percent, industry 20 percent, agriculture 30 percent (1995 estimate) Rate of unemployment15 percent (2002 estimate)

Budget information on Tunisia

Incomes $USD5 billion spending $USD6 billion. Industries Petroleum, mining , tourism, clothing,, agriculture, beverages Industrial production growth rate 3 percent (2002 estimate)

Agriculture - products Olives and olives products, grain, dairy products, tomatoes, fruit, cattle, sugar beets, dried fruits.

Exports

$USD7 billion Exports - commodities Clothing, mechanical goods, chemicals, agricultural products, hydrocarbons Exports - partners France 31 percent, Italy 21 percent, Germany 11 percent, Spain 5 percent, Libya 5 percent, Belgium 4 percent (2002)

Imports

$USD9 billion . (2002) Imports - commodities Clothing, plant, hydrocarbons, chemicals, food Imports -most important trading partners France 26 percent, Italy 20 percent, Germany 9 percent, Spain 5 percent (2002)

Foreign Indebtedness

$USD13 billion (2003 estimate) National Currency Tunisian dinar (TND) Currency Abbreviation TND

Communications information on Tunisia

Telephones landlines 650,000 (1997) Radio broadcast stations Amplitude Modulation 5, Frequency Modulation 15, shortwave 3 (1998) Television broadcast stations 25 (1995) Internet country code .tn

Transportation in & travel information on Tunisia

Railroad networks Total2,150 kilometres Roading System Total19,000 kilometres Pipelines: Gas 3,000 kilometres; oil 1,200 kilometres; refined products 350 kilometres (2003) Airports & airfields 35 (2002)

Military information on Tunisia

Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard Military spending $USD350 million (Fiscal Year99) Military spending : percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 1 percent International Issues Tunisia Disputes - international none
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Facts on Tunisia
Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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