Tunisia People - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


11,976,182 (2023 est.)


noun: Tunisian(s)

adjective: Tunisian

Ethnic groups

Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%


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

major-language sample(s):
كتاب حقائق العالم، أحسن كتاب تتعلم به المعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, une source indispensable d'informations de base. (French)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Arabic audio sample:
French audio sample:


Muslim (official; Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Baha'i) MENA religious affiliation

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 in 2022. 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.

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.77% (male 1,529,179/female 1,436,771)

15-64 years: 65.26% (male 3,843,642/female 3,971,509)

65 years and over: 9.98% (2023 est.) (male 566,265/female 628,816)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.9

youth dependency ratio: 36.3

elderly dependency ratio: 13.3

potential support ratio: 7.5 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 32.7 years

male: 32 years

female: 33.3 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.63% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

14.05 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

6.38 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

-1.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

the overwhelming majority of the population is located in the northern half of the country; the south remains largely underpopulated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 70.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.34% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

2.475 million TUNIS (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

37 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.57 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 12.99 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.07 years

male: 75.4 years

female: 78.84 years (2023 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.96 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.95 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

50.7% (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 97.3% of population

total: 99.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 2.7% of population

total: 0.8% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

6.3% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

1.3 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.2 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.8% of population

rural: 99.4% of population

total: 99% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.2% of population

rural: 0.6% of population

total: 1% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

26.9% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.51 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.99 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.32 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.17 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 24.6% (2020 est.)

male: 47.2% (2020 est.)

female: 2% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

1.6% (2018)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

53.9% (2023 est.)

Education expenditures

7.3% of GDP (2016 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 82.7%

male: 89.1%

female: 82.7% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 16 years (2016)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 38.3%

male: 37.1%

female: 41.2% (2021 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Tunisia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Tunisia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Tunisia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.