The population in Tunisia is estimated at 11.6 million with a growing urbanization rate reaching 69 percent.[1] The population of Tunisia is aging, whereby the proportion of the population below 30 years is 63.6 percent, down from 78.4 percent in 2000[2]. This is mainly due to a slightly decreasing fertility rate and considerable progress in the health sector in the last two decades.


Following the onset of the revolution in late 2010 and the ensuing political transition, and given the weak growth in the euro zone­—Tunisia’s main trading partner—, the macroeconomic situation in Tunisia became more fragile. However, a shy economic recovery is ongoing in Tunisia with an improvement in growth reaching 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2018, [3] boosted by agriculture, tourism and export-oriented manufacturing particularly electrical and mechanical industries. However, macroeconomic imbalances remain high.[4]

Inflation reached 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 5.2 percent in the same period in 2017, driven by energy price increases, currency depreciation, wage increases and strong credit growth.[3]


Tunisia continues to face a challenging external position, with significant trade and current account deficits and limited foreign investment. Public debt accelerated from 40.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to 70.5 percent of GDP in 2018, while the current account deficit exceeded 10 percent of GDP. [4] Trade of goods and services amount to 100 percent of Tunisia’s GDP; however, Tunisia’s trade with Arab countries is limited with only 10 percent of Tunisia’s total exports destined to Arab countries and only 8 percent of its imports originating from Arab countries.[4]


Unemployment remains high at 15.4 percent and is even higher among women at 22.7 percent and youth, particularly among young university graduates whose unemployment rate reaches 38.7 percent for women.[3]

The official poverty rate in Tunisia was 15.2 percent in 2015, considerably decreasing from 20.5 percent in 2010.[5]


The gross enrollment rate for primary education levels at 104.7 percent, however, the rate for tertiary education is still as low as 32 percent equaling the Arab region’s average. Notably, the number of women accessing tertiary education in Tunisia exceeds the number of men with a Gender Parity Index of 1.7.[6]



[1] World Urbanization Prospects, Population Division, United Nations https://population.un.org/wup/ 

[2] World Population Prospects, Population Division, United Nations https://population.un.org/wpp/ 

[3] Tunisia Institut National de la Statistique (INS) ins.tn/frns.tn 

[4]  International Monetary Fund https://www.imf.org/external/index.htm 

[5] The World Bank, Country Overview http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/tunisia/overview 

[6] United Nationals Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UIS database http://uis.unesco.org/ 

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Data Highlighted

  • Trade and economic integration have played significant roles in Tunisia’s economic development. In 2016, trade of goods and services reached 90% of Tunisia’s GDP.

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