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Tunisia Demographics Profile 2019

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11,516,189 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 25.25% (male 1,502,655 /female 1,405,310)
15-24 years: 13.53% (male 787,178 /female 770,929)
25-54 years: 43.25% (male 2,426,011 /female 2,554,253)
55-64 years: 9.75% (male 560,233 /female 562,436)
65 years and over: 8.22% (male 448,784 /female 498,400) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 45.6 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 34.5 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 11.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 9 (2015 est.)
Median age
total: 32 years (2018 est.)
male: 31.3 years
female: 32.5 years
Population growth rate
0.95% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
17.4 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
6.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
urban population: 69.3% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 1.53% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major cities - population
2.328 million TUNIS (capital) (2019)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 11.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.5 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 75.9 years (2018 est.)
male: 74.3 years
female: 77.6 years
Total fertility rate
2.17 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
62.5% (2011/12)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
<.1% (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
2,800 (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<100 (2018 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 93.2% of population
total: 97.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 6.8% of population
total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 97.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 79.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 91.6% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 20.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 8.4% of population (2015 est.)
noun: Tunisian(s)
adjective: Tunisian
Ethnic groups
Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Muslim (official; Sunni) 99.1%, other (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Baha'i) 1%
Demographic profile

The Tunisian Government took steps in the 1960s to decrease population growth and gender inequality in order to improve socioeconomic development. Through its introduction of a national family planning program (the first in Africa) and by raising the legal age of marriage, Tunisia rapidly reduced its total fertility rate from about 7 children per woman in 1960 to 2 today. Unlike many of its North African and Middle Eastern neighbors, Tunisia will soon be shifting from being a youth-bulge country to having a transitional age structure, characterized by lower fertility and mortality rates, a slower population growth rate, a rising median age, and a longer average life expectancy.

Currently, the sizable young working-age population is straining Tunisia’s labor market and education and health care systems. Persistent high unemployment among Tunisia’s growing workforce, particularly its increasing number of university graduates and women, was a key factor in the uprisings that led to the overthrow of the BEN ALI regime in 2011. In the near term, Tunisia’s large number of jobless young, working-age adults; deficiencies in primary and secondary education; and the ongoing lack of job creation and skills mismatches could contribute to future unrest. In the longer term, a sustained low fertility rate will shrink future youth cohorts and alleviate demographic pressure on Tunisia’s labor market, but employment and education hurdles will still need to be addressed.

Tunisia has a history of labor emigration. In the 1960s, workers migrated to European countries to escape poor economic conditions and to fill Europe’s need for low-skilled labor in construction and manufacturing. The Tunisian Government signed bilateral labor agreements with France, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, and the Netherlands, with the expectation that Tunisian workers would eventually return home. At the same time, growing numbers of Tunisians headed to Libya, often illegally, to work in the expanding oil industry. In the mid-1970s, with European countries beginning to restrict immigration and Tunisian-Libyan tensions brewing, Tunisian economic migrants turned toward the Gulf countries. After mass expulsions from Libya in 1983, Tunisian migrants increasingly sought family reunification in Europe or moved illegally to southern Europe, while Tunisia itself developed into a transit point for sub-Saharan migrants heading to Europe.

Following the ousting of BEN ALI in 2011, the illegal migration of unemployed Tunisian youths to Italy and onward to France soared into the tens of thousands. Thousands more Tunisian and foreign workers escaping civil war in Libya flooded into Tunisia and joined the exodus. A readmission agreement signed by Italy and Tunisia in April 2011 helped stem the outflow, leaving Tunisia and international organizations to repatriate, resettle, or accommodate some 1 million Libyans and third-country nationals.

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

note: despite having no official status, French plays a major role in the country and is spoken by about two thirds of the population

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 74.2% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 15 years
male: 14 years NA
female: 16 years NA (2016)
Education expenditures
6.6% of GDP (2015)
Maternal mortality rate
43 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
2.8% (2012)
Health expenditures
6.7% (2015)
Physicians density
1.27 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
2.2 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
26.9% (2016)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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