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Tunisia (2005)

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Tunisia 2005 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: 25.3% (male 1,316,308/female 1,234,309)

15-64 years: 68.1% (male 3,437,880/female 3,418,591)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 321,287/female 346,576) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products olives, olive oil, grain, dairy products, tomatoes, citrus fruit, beef, sugar beets, dates, almonds
Airports 30 (2004 est.)
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 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 16

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 7 (2004 est.)
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 15.5 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $6.799 billion

expenditures: $7.573 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.6 billion (2004 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 1988, 2002
Country name conventional long form: Tunisian Republic

conventional short form: Tunisia

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah

local short form: Tunis
Death rate 5.09 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $14.71 billion (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador William J. HUDSON

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

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [216] 71 107-000

FAX: [216] 71 962-115
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Nejib HACHANA

chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850

FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $114.6 million (2002)
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. Progressive social policies also have helped raise living conditions in Tunisia relative to the region. Real growth slowed to a 15-year low of 1.9% in 2002 because of agricultural drought and lackluster tourism. Better rains in 2003 and 2004, however, helped push GDP growth above 5% for these years. Tourism also recovered after the end of combat operations in Iraq. Tunisia is gradually removing barriers to trade with the European Union. 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 ahead.
Electricity - consumption 10.05 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 10 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 90 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 10.72 billion kWh (2002)
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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, 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 - 1.2455 (2004), 1.2885 (2003), 1.4217 (2002), 1.4387 (2001), 1.3707 (2000)
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 2004 (next to be held 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%
Exports 10 million kWh (2002)
Exports $9.926 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities textiles, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, agricultural products, hydrocarbons
Exports - partners France 33.1%, Italy 25.3%, Germany 9.2%, Spain 6.1% (2004)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 13.8%

industry: 31.8%

services: 54.4% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $7,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5.1% (2004 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: 12,424 km (including 142 km of expressways)

unpaved: 6,573 km (2001)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 31.8% (1995)
Imports 90 million kWh (2002)
Imports $11.52 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports 1.58 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, food
Imports - partners France 25.1%, Italy 19%, Germany 8.5%, Spain 5.3% (2004)
Independence 20 March 1956 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 4.4% (2004 est.)
Industries petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Infant mortality rate total: 24.77 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 27.68 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 21.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 4.1% (2004 est.)
Irrigated land 3,800 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Labor force 3.55 million

note: shortage of skilled labor (2004 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: 17.86%

permanent crops: 13.74%

other: 68.4% (2001)
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 (189 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 24 October 2004 (next to be held October 2009)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RCD 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2
Life expectancy at birth total population: 74.89 years

male: 73.2 years

female: 76.71 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 74.3%

male: 83.4%

female: 65.3% (2004 est.)
Location Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm
Merchant marine total: 12 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 124,733 GRT/122,664 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 5, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1

registered in other countries: 3 (2005)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force (2003)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $356 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.5% (FY99)
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 -0.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Pipelines gas 3,059 km; oil 1,203 km; refined products 345 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Al-Tajdid Movement [Ali HALOUANI]; 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 Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA]; Progressive Democratic Party [Nejib CHEBBI]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Abderrahmane TLILI]
Political pressure groups and leaders the Islamic fundamentalist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed
Population 10,074,951 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 7.6% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 0.99% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Skhira
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) (2004)
Religions Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2005 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: 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; two international gateway digital switches
Telephones - main lines in use 1,163,800 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1,899,900 (2003)
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 1.75 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 13.8% (2004 est.)
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