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Tunisia (2003)

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Tunisia 2003 year

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)
Age structure 0-14 years: 27% (male 1,388,839; female 1,297,313)

15-64 years: 66.6% (male 3,306,782; female 3,299,883)

65 years and over: 6.4% (male 309,103; female 322,822) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products olives, olive oil, grain, dairy products, tomatoes, citrus fruit, beef, sugar beets, dates, almonds
Airports 30 (2002)
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 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 16

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 7 (2002)
Area total: 163,610 sq km

land: 155,360 sq km

water: 8,250 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Georgia
Background Following independence from France in 1956, 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 recent years, Tunisia has taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to defuse rising pressure for a more open political society.
Birth rate 16.53 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $5.2 billion

expenditures: $5.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.6 billion (2002 est.)
Capital Tunis
Climate temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south
Coastline 1,148 km
Constitution 1 June 1959; amended 12 July 1988
Country name conventional long form: Tunisian Republic

conventional short form: Tunisia

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah

local short form: Tunis
Currency Tunisian dinar (TND)
Death rate 5.02 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $13.6 billion (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Rust M. DEMING

embassy: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis, 2045 La Goulette, Tunisia

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [216] 71 782-566

FAX: [216] 71 789-719
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Hatem ATALLAH

chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850

FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $222.7 million (2000)
Economy - overview Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Real growth averaged 5.4% in 1997-2001 but slowed to 1.9% in 2002 because of agricultural drought, slow investment, and lackluster tourism. Increased rainfall portends higher growth levels for 2003, but continued regional tension from the war in Iraq will most likely continue to suppress tourism earnings. Tunisia has agreed to gradually remove barriers to trade with the European Union over the next decade. Broader privatization, further liberalization of the investment code to increase foreign investment, improvements in government efficiency, and reduction of the trade deficit are among the challenges for the future.
Electricity - consumption 9.748 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 10.48 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 99.5%

hydro: 0.5%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m

highest point: Jebel ech Chambi 1,544 m
Environment - current issues toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses health risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Exchange rates Tunisian dinars per US dollar - 1.42 (2002), 1.44 (2001), 1.37 (2000), 1.19 (1999), 1.14 (1998)
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; election last held 24 October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected for a third term without opposition; percent of vote - Zine El Abidine BEN ALI nearly 100%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $6.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities textiles, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, agricultural products, hydrocarbons
Exports - partners France 31.3%, Italy 21.6%, Germany 11.5%, Spain 4.8%, Libya 4.7%, Belgium 4.3% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP purchasing power parity - $67.13 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 12%

industry: 32%

services: 56% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.8% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 34 00 N, 9 00 E
Geography - note strategic location in central Mediterranean; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
Highways total: 18,997 km

paved: 12,310 km (including 142 km of expressways)

unpaved: 6,687 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 31.8% (1995)
Imports 1 million kWh (2001)
Imports $8.7 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports 1.58 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, food
Imports - partners France 25.6%, Italy 19.5%, Germany 8.9%, Spain 5% (2002)
Independence 20 March 1956 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 3.5% (2002 est.)
Industries petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Infant mortality rate total: 26.91 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 29.89 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 23.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.5% (2002 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land 3,800 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Labor force 2.69 million

note: shortage of skilled labor (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation services 55%, industry 23%, agriculture 22% (1995 est.)
Land boundaries total: 1,424 km

border countries: Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km
Land use arable land: 18.67%

permanent crops: 12.87%

other: 68.46% (1998 est.)
Languages Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Legal system based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session
Legislative branch unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (182 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 24 October 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)

election results: percent of vote by party - RCD 92%; seats by party - RCD 148, MDS 13, UDU 7, PUP 7, Al-Tajdid 5, PSL 2; note - reforms enabled opposition parties to win up to 20% of seats, increasing the number of seats they hold from 19 in the last election to 34 now
Life expectancy at birth total population: 74.4 years

male: 72.77 years

female: 76.15 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 74.2%

male: 84%

female: 64.4% (2003 est.)
Location Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya
Map references Africa
Maritime claims contiguous zone: 24 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 14 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 139,990 GRT/148,394 DWT

ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 3, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary forces, National Guard
Military expenditures - dollar figure $356 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.5% (FY99)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 2,866,984 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 1,629,241 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 20 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 106,513 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 20 March (1956)
Nationality noun: Tunisian(s)

adjective: Tunisian
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt
Net migration rate -0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines gas 3,059 km; oil 1,203 km; refined products 345 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders Al-Tajdid Movement [Adel CHAOUCH]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or RCD [President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI (official ruling party)]; Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mounir BEJI]; Movement of Democratic Socialists or MDS [Khamis CHAMMARI]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed Belhaj AMOR]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Abderrahmane TLILI]
Political pressure groups and leaders the Islamic fundamentalist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed
Population 9,924,742 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 6% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate 1.09% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Sfax, Sousse, Tunis, Zarzis
Radio broadcast stations AM 7, FM 20, shortwave 2 (1998)
Railways total: 2,152 km

standard gauge: 468 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 1,674 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified)

dual gauge: 10 km 1.435-m and 1.000-m gauges (three rails) (2002)
Religions Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 20 years of age; universal
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: 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; two international gateway digital switches
Telephones - main lines in use 654,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 50,000 (1998)
Television broadcast stations 26 (plus 76 repeaters) (1995)
Terrain mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara
Total fertility rate 1.9 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 15.4% (2002 est.)
Waterways none
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