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Tunisia Facts
• Introduction
• People
• Government
• Communications
• Transportation
• Military
• Transnational Issues

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Introduction Tunisia
Background:
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. 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.
People Tunisia
Population:
10,276,158 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (male 1,270,208/female 1,191,619)
15-64 years: 69.2% (male 3,571,228/female 3,538,458)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 333,801/female 370,844) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.3 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 28.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.989% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
15.54 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
5.17 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.066 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.009 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.015 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 22.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.34 years
male: 73.6 years
female: 77.21 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.73 children born/woman (2007 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 - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: may be a significant risk in some locations during the transmission season (typically April through November) (2007)
Nationality:
noun: Tunisian(s)
adjective: Tunisian
Ethnic groups:
Arab 98%, European 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 read and write
total population: 74.3%
male: 83.4%
female: 65.3% (2004 est.)
Government Tunisia
Country name:
conventional long form: Tunisian Republic
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: Tunis
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Tunis
geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative 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)
Constitution:
1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002
Legal system:
based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session
Suffrage:
20 years of age; universal except for active duty military
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987)
head 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-year 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 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Advisors (126 seats; 85 members elected by municipal counselors, deputies, mayors, and professional associations and trade unions; 41 members are presidential appointees; members serve six-year 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; seats by party - RCD 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2; Chamber of Advisors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 71 (14 trade union seats vacant (boycotted))
Judicial branch:
Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Political parties and leaders:
Al-Tajdid Movement [Ali HALOUANI]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or RCD (official ruling party) [President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI]; Green Party for Progress or PVP [Mongi KHAMASSI]; Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mounir BEJI]; Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA]; Progressive Democratic Party [Nejib CHEBBI]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Ahmed INOUBLI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
18 October Group [collective leadership]; Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties or FDTL [Mustapha Ben JAFAAR]; Tunisian League for Human Rights or LTDH [Mokhtar TRIFI]; note - the Islamic fundamentalist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed
International organization participation:
ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC (suspended), OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nejib HACHANA
chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850
FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador designate 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] 71 107-090
Flag description:
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
Communications Tunisia
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.258 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.681 million (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis; Internet access available
domestic: trunk facilities consist of open-wire lines, coaxial cable, and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 216; 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; 2 international gateway digital switches
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 7, FM 20, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios:
2.06 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
26 (plus 76 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:
920,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.tn
Internet hosts:
428 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
953,800 (2005)
Transportation Tunisia
Airports:
30 (2006)
Airports - with 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 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 2,945 km; oil 1,227 km; refined products 351 km (2006)
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) (2005)
Roadways:
total: 19,232 km
paved: 12,655 km (includes 262 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,577 km (2004)
Merchant marine:
total: 9 ships (1000 GRT or over) 146,759 GRT/115,118 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 4 (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Skhira
Military Tunisia
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At'tunisia) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
20 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months; 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 20-49: 2,441,741
females age 20-49: 2,406,362 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 20-49: 2,035,431
females age 20-49: 2,000,757 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 108,817
females age 20-49: 103,087 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$356 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.5% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Tunisia
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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