Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a part of the Maghreb region of North Africa, and is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. It covers 163,610 km2 (63,170 sq mi), and has a population of 12.1 million. It contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert; much of its remaining territory is arable land. Its 1,300 km (810 mi) of coastline include the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin. Tunisia is home to Africa's northernmost point, Cape Angela; and its capital and largest city is Tunis, which is located on its northeastern coast, and lends the country its name.
Republic of Tunisia
|Motto: حرية، كرامة، عدالة، نظام|
"Ḥurrīyah, Karāma, 'Adālah, Niẓām"
"Freedom, Dignity, Justice, Order"
|Anthem: حماة الحمى|
(English: "Defenders of the Homeland")
and largest city
|Ethnic groups||Arab-Berber 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%|
|Government||Unitary presidential republic|
|Legislature||Assembly of the Representatives of the People (dissolved)|
|15 July 1705|
|20 March 1956|
|25 July 1957|
|28 August 2022|
|163,610 km2 (63,170 sq mi) (91st)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
|71.65/km2 (185.6/sq mi) (110th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2022 estimate|
|$149.184 billion (82nd)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2022 estimate|
|$45.642 billion (96th)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2019)|| 0.740|
high · 95th
|Currency||Tunisian dinar (TND)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|ISO 3166 code||TN|
Beginning in early antiquity, Tunisia was inhabited by the indigenous Berbers. Phoenicians began to arrive in the 12th century BC, establishing several settlements, of which Carthage emerged as the most powerful by the 7th century BC. Carthage was a major mercantile empire and a military rival of the Roman Republic until 146 BC, when it was defeated by the Romans, who occupied Tunisia for most of the next 800 years, introducing Christianity and leaving architectural legacies like the amphitheatre of El Jem. In the 7th century AD Muslims conquered all of Tunisia (finally succeeding in 697 after several attempts starting in 647), and they brought Islam and Arab culture to the local inhabitants. Then in 1546, the Ottoman Empire established control there, holding sway for over 300 years, until 1881, when the French conquered Tunisia. In 1956, Tunisia gained independence as the Tunisian Republic under the leadership of Habib Bourguiba. Today, Tunisia is the smallest nation in North Africa, and its culture and identity are rooted in this centuries-long intersection of different cultures and ethnicities.
In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution, which was triggered by dissatisfaction with the lack of freedom and democracy under the 24-year rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, overthrew his regime and catalyzed the broader Arab Spring movement across the region. Free multiparty parliamentary elections were held shortly thereafter; the country again voted for parliament on 26 October 2014, and for president on 23 November 2014. After the 2022 constitutional referendum being held, Tunisia became a unitary presidential representative democratic republic. From 2014 to 2020, it was considered the only democratic state in the Arab World, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, and was rated a hybrid regime in the 2021 Index. It is one of the few countries in Africa ranking high in the Human Development Index, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the continent.
Tunisia is well integrated into the international community. It is a member of the United Nations, La Francophonie, the Arab League, the OIC, the African Union, the COMESA, the Non-Aligned Movement, the International Criminal Court, and the Group of 77, among others. It maintains close economic and political relations with some European countries, particularly with France, and Italy, which geographically lie very close to it. Tunisia also has an association agreement with the European Union and has attained the status of a major non-NATO ally of the United States.