Tunisia Tunisia

Statistical Snapshot


Tunisia’s population is estimated at 11.74 million[1] with a growing urbanization rate of 69 percent as of 2018.[2] The population of Tunisia is aging: 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 to 2.2 [1] and considerable progress in the health sector in the last two decades, with life expectancy reaching 75.4 according to latest data published by the Tunisia Institute of Statistics (INS).


Tunisia’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2018 is 0.739 – which put the country in the high human development category – positioning it at 91st out of 189 countries and territories. When adjusted for inequality, the country loses one-fifth (20.8 percent) of the score largely due to inequality in education.[3] 


Following the uprising of 2011, Tunisia has been on a challenging development path. After real GDP increases of 2 percent and 2.7 percent in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the Tunisian economy grew at a sluggish 1 percent in 2019, mainly due to a contraction in the agricultural and fishing sector from 11.3 percent in 2018 down to 0.8 percent in 2019 due to expensive production prices. [1]


Public debt to GDP has been steadily increasing from 41 percent in 2010 up to a peak of 78 percent in 2018 before dropping to 72 percent[4] in December 2019. The strict lockdown to contain the coronavirus from 22 March 2020 has already taken its toll on the economy and living conditions. According to the IMF, growth is expected to drop to -4.3 percent, the lowest level since Tunisia’s independence in 1956, due to a drop in the tourism sector, which represents 7 percent of GDP, and a drop of textile exports to the EU. At the same time, public debt is expected to increase to 89 percent of GDP. On 10 April, the IMF approved emergency financing of US$745 million or two percent of GDP, to help the Tunisian authorities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.[5] 


Unemployment remains high at 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 percent, with female unemployment at 21.7 percent compared to 12.1 for men.  The official poverty rate in Tunisia is at 15.2 percent, dating back to 2015, and the country is yet to conduct a new living conditions survey to produce updated figures.[1] According to the WHO, government health expenditure is 3.96 percent of GDP in in Tunisia against the global average of 10.1 respectively. Consequently out-of-pocket health expenditure (as a percent of current health expenditure) is at 39.1 percent, higher than the global average of 33.1 percent.[6] 


The current account deficit exceeded 11 percent of GDP in 2018.[5] 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.[5] 

This overview was last updated in April 2020. Priority is given to the latest available official data published by national statistical offices and/or public institutions.


[1] National Institute of Statistics, Tunisia. 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ins.tn/ [Accessed 21 April 2020].
[2] Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. 2018. World Urbanization Prospects. [ONLINE] Available at:
https://population.un.org/wup/ [Accessed 22 March 2020].
[3] United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). HDI Database. April 2020. [ONLINE] Available at   http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/TUN [Accessed 22 April 2020].
[4] Ministry of Finance, Tunisia. 2018. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.finances.gov.tn/ [Accessed 20 January 2019].
[5] International Monetary Fund (IMF). April 2020. [ONLINE] Available at:   https://www.imf.org/en/Data and https://www.imf.org/en/Countries/TUN  [Accessed 22 April 2020].
[6] World Health Organization (WHO). April 2020. [ONLINE] Available at    https://www.who.int/data/gho [Accessed 22 April 2020].

view all

Data Highlights

  • 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.

view all