Population: 10 937 521

GDP: 49 120 000 000.00 $



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. In November 1987, Bourguiba was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a bloodless coup. Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty, and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day Ben Ali dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a "national unity government" was formed.



Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef Marzouki as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012 and, after several iterations and a months-long political crisis that stalled the transition, ratified the document in January 2014. Parliamentary and presidential elections for a permanent government were held at the end of 2014. Beji Caid Essebsi was elected as the first president under the country’s new constitution.




Population: 10,937,521 (2014).


Nationality: noun: Tunisian(s), adjective: Tunisian.


Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%.


Languages: Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight).


Religions: Muslim (official; Sunni) 99.1%, other (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Baha'i) 1%.




GDP: $ 49 120 000 000.00 (2014).

Military Organization


Tunisian Armed Forces (Forces Armees Tunisiens, FAT): Tunisian Army (includes Tunisian Air Defense Force), Tunisian Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At'Tunisia).

Geographical Information and Map


Capital: Tunis


Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya. Strategic location in central Mediterranean; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration.


Geographic coordinates:

34 00 N, 9 00 E.



total: 163,610 sq km

land: 155,360 sq km

water: 8,250 sq km.


Land boundaries:

total: 1,495 km

border countries: Algeria 1,034 km, Libya 461 km.


Coastline: 1,148 km.


Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt.