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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 is aiming to have it ratified by the end of the year.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Tunisia has a diverse, market-oriented economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors but faces an array of challenges. Following an ill-fated experiment with socialist economic policies in the 1960s, Tunisia successfully focused on bolstering exports, foreign investment, and tourism. Key exports now include textiles and apparel, food products, petroleum products, chemicals, and phosphates, with about 80% going to the European Union. Tunisia achieved four decades of 4-5% annual GDP growth. As the presidency wore on, cronyism and corruption under former President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (1987-2011) stymied economic performance and unemployment rose among the university's graduates. In January 2011 BEN ALI was overthrown, sending Tunisia's economy into a tailspin. The country's newly elected government faces immediate challenges stabilizing the economy. It must reassure businesses and investors, bring budget and current account deficits under control, shore up the country's financial system, bring down high unemployment, and reduce economic disparities between the more developed coastal region and impoverished interior.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 71
$102.3 billion (2011 est.)
$103.1 billion (2010 est.)
$100.1 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$46.36 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 205
-0.8% (2011 est.)
3.1% (2010 est.)
3.1% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 112
$9,600 (2011 est.)
$9,800 (2010 est.)
$9,600 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 10.6%
Industry 34.6%
Services 54.8% (2010 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 90
3.904 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 18.3%
Industry 31.9%
Services 49.8% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 158
18% (2011 est.)
13% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
3.8% (2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.3%
Highest 10% 31.5% (2000)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 61
40 (2005 est.)
41.7 (1995 est.)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 41
25.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $10.15 billion
Expenditures $12.84 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 146
21.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 172
-5.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 57
49% of GDP (2011 est.)
42.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 78
3.5% (2011 est.)
4.4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate
5.75% (31 December 2010 est.)
NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 129
7.31% (31 December 2010 est.)
7.305% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 69
$13.16 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$11.44 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 77
$29.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$28.11 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 68
$34.43 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$31.03 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 71
$9.662 billion (31 December 2011)
$10.68 billion (31 December 2010)
$9.12 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Olives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruit, sugar beets, dates, almonds; beef, dairy products

Industries
Petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 163
-6.4% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 84
14.4 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 82
12.49 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
129 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports
7 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 54
83,720 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 82
84,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 64
91,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 74
78,460 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 53
425 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 51
3.6 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 61
4.85 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 197
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 56
1.25 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 61
65.13 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 158
-$3.161 billion (2011 est.)
-$2.104 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 75
$17.73 billion (2011 est.)
$16.43 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment

Exports - partners
France 29.4%, Italy 19.2%, Germany 10.3%, Libya 6.6% (2009 est.)

Imports World Ranking: 68
$23.62 billion (2011 est.)
$21.01 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners
France 21%, Italy 17.5%, Germany 8.8%, Spain 4.9%, China 4.7%, Russia 4.5% (2009 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 81
$7.372 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$9.462 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 76
$23.21 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$21.58 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 61
$32.26 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$31.41 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 76
$310 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$285 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Tunisian dinars (TND) per US dollar -
1.4078 (2011 est.)
1.4314 (2010 est.)
1.3503 (2009)
1.211 (2008)
1.2776 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Tunisia (Tunis):


  GPS points from Tunisia (Tunis)

Oued Bou Assoud Tunisia (general)

Chabet Ghmad El Guech Tunisia (general)

Wadi Al Hammadiyah Tunisia (general)

Nafidat At Tin Tunisia (general)

Djebel Bateun Redouane Gouvernorat De Gabes

Oued Chafrou Tunis


Gouvernorat De Tozeur Gouvernorat De Tozeur




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