Fast Facts

Population:
10,043,000
Capital:
Tunis; 1,996,000
Area:
163,610 square kilometers (63,170 square miles)
Language:
Arabic, French
Religion:
Muslim
Currency:
Tunisian dinar
Life Expectancy:
73
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $6,800
Literacy Percent:
74
Flag: Tunisia
Map: Tunisia

Gaining its independence in 1956 after 75 years under French control, this North African nation was ruled by President for Life Habib Bourguiba until his ouster in 1987. Political and economic reforms have since pulled Tunisia from the brink of collapse. The fluctuating economy is based on agriculture—particularly market gardening of vegetables—as well as phosphates and petroleum. Tunisia's sunny Mediterranean coast and ancient history, spectacularly preserved at Carthage, make for a robust tourist industry.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Petroleum, mining, tourism, textiles, footwear
  • Agriculture: Olives, olive oil, grain, dairy products
  • Exports: Textiles, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, agricultural products

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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