Tunisia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Tunisia has been the nexus of many different colonizations including those of the Phoenicians (as early as the 12 century B.C.), the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, various Arab and Berber kingdoms, and the Ottomans. In 1818, France established a protectorate. The French recognized Tunisia as an independent state in 1956.

Geography

Area

total: 163,610 sq km

land: 155,360 sq km

water: 8,250 sq km

Climate

temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south

Natural resources

petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt

People and Society

Population

11,896,972 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%

Languages

Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight); note - despite having no official status, French plays a major role in the country and is spoken by about two thirds of the population

Religions

Muslim (official; Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Baha'i) <1%

Population growth rate

0.69% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Tunis

Executive branch

chief of state: President Kais SAIED (elected 13 October, sworn in 23 October 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Najla BOUDEN Romdhane (since 11 October 2021)

Legislative branch

description: note: on 25 July 2021, President SAIED suspended indefinitely the Assembly, and on 30 March 2022 he dissolved the Assembly
unicameral Assembly of the Representatives of the People or Majlis Nuwwab ash-Sha'b (Assemblee des representants du peuple) (217 seats; 199 members directly elected in Tunisian multi-seat constituencies and 18 members in multi-seat constituencies living abroad by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

lower middle-income North African economy; drafting reforms for foreign lenders; high unemployment, especially for youth and women; hit hard by COVID-19; high public sector wages; high public debt; protectionist austerity measures; key EU trade partner

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$114.97 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$9,700 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

wheat, milk, tomatoes, barley, olives, watermelons, green chillies/peppers, potatoes, dates, green onions/shallots

Industries

petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate, iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages

Exports

$19.17 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

France 29%, Italy 17%, Germany 13% (2019)

Exports - commodities

insulated wiring, clothing and apparel, crude petroleum, olive oil, vehicle parts (2019)

Imports

$23.42 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

France 17%, Italy 16%, Germany 8%, China 8%, Algeria 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, natural gas, low-voltage protection equipment, cars, insulated wiring (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022