Demographics of Tunisia
The majority (98% ) of modern Tunisians are Arabized Berber or Arab-Berber, and are speakers of Tunisian Arabic. However, there is also a small (1 percent at most) of pure native Berbers located mainly in the Jabal Dahar mountains in the South East and on the island of Jerba. The Berbers primarily speak Berber languages, often called Shilha or Tashlihit, or have shifted to Tunisian Arabic.
Source: National Institute of Statistics
|Average population||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1,000)||Crude death rate (per 1,000)||Natural change (per 1,000)||Fertility rates|
|1993||8 572 200||24.0||5.7||18.3||3.12|
|1994||8 785 700||22.7||5.7||17.0||2.90|
|1995||8 957 500||20.8||5.8||15.0||2.67|
|1996||9 089 300||19.7||5.5||14.2||2.51|
|1997||9 214 900||18.9||5.6||13.2||2.38|
|1998||9 333 300||17.9||5.6||12.3||2.23|
|1999||9 455 900||16.9||5.7||11.2||2.09|
|2000||9 552 500||17.1||5.6||11.4||2.08|
|2001||9 650 600||16.9||5.6||11.4||2.05|
|2002||9 748 900||163 011||16.7||5.8||10.8||2.00|
|2003||9 839 800||168 022||17.1||6.1||11.0||2.06|
|2004||9 932 400||166 551||16.8||6.0||10.8||2.02|
|2005||10 029 000||170 999||58 673||112 326||17.1||5.9||11.2||2.04|
|2006||10 127 900||173 390||57 000||116 390||17.1||5.6||11.5||2.03|
|2007||10 225 100||177 503||56 741||120 762||17.4||5.5||11.8||2.04|
|2008||10 328 900||182 990||59 975||123 015||17.7||5.8||11.9||2.06|
|2009||10 439 600||184 282||59 499||124 783||17.7||5.7||12.0||2.05|
|2010||10 547 100||196 039||60 438||135 601||18.6||5.7||12.9||2.13|
|2011||10 673 800||201 120||63 258||137 862||18.8||5.9||12.9||2.15|
|2012||10 777 500|
Source: National Institute of Statistics
While the vast majority of modern Tunisians identify themselves as Arabs, they are predominantly descended from Berber groups, with some Arab input. Tunisians are also descended, to a lesser extent, from other African, Middle Eastern and European peoples, specifically the Phoenicians/Punics, Romans, Vandals, French and Haratin. In sum, a little less than 20 percent of their genetic material (Y-chromosome analysis) comes from present day Arabian Peninsula, Europe or Sub-Saharan Africa. "In fact, the Tunisian genetic distances to European samples are smaller than those to North African groups. (...) This could be explained by the history of the Tunisian population, reflecting the influence of the ancient Punic settlers of Carthage followed, among others, by Roman, Byzantine, Arab and French occupations, according to historical records. Notwithstanding, other explanations cannot be discarded, such as the relative heterogeneity within current Tunisian populations, and/or the limited sub-Saharan genetic influence in this region as compared with other North African areas, without excluding the possibility of the genetic drift, whose effect might be particularly amplified on the X chromosome.", This suggests a fairly significant European input to Tunisian genetics compared to other neighbouring populations.
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
- 0–14 years: 22.2% (male 1,213,664/female 1,137,084)
- 15–64 years: 70.5% (male 3,759,955/female 3,704,677)
- 65 years and over: 7.3% (male 358,447/female 415,198) (2010 est.)
- 0-14 years: 23.2% (male 1,274,348/female 1,193,131)
- 15-64 years: 69.3% (male 3,638,014/female 3,728,294)
- 65 years and over: 7.5% (male 390,055/female 405,344) (2011 est.)
Net migration rate
- -0.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
- -1.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
- urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
- rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
- under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
- 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2012 est.)
Infant mortality rate
- 22.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
- total population: 75.24 years
- male: 73.2 years
- female: 77.42 years (2012 est.)
Tunisian Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic is official); French (especially in commerce); Shelha, Ghadamès, Nafusi, Sened and Djerbi; according to the 1998 Ethnologue report, about 26,000 Berbers in Djerba and Matmata speak Djerbi
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.3%
female: 65.3% (2004 est.)
The literacy rate among the Tunisian population increased greatly after its independence from France. According to the 1996 census data, the literacy rate of the last generation of Tunisian men educated under the French rule (those born 1945-49) was less than 65%. For the first generation educated after independence (born 1950-1954), literacy in Arabic among males had increased to nearly 80%. (Sixty-two percent were also literate in French and 15 percent literate in English). Among the youngest generation included in the census (those born 1980-1984), 96.6% were literate in Arabic.
Among Tunisian women, the increase in literacy was even greater. The literacy rate among the last generation of women educated under the French was less than 30%. In the first generation educated after independence, this increased to just over 40%. For the youngest generation of women cited (born 1980-1984), literacy in Arabic had increased to slightly over 90%; over 70% of women were also literate in French.
- Mughal, Muhammad Aurang Zeb. 2012. Tunisia. Steven Danver (ed.), Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures, and Contemporary Issues, Vol. 3. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, pp. 688–689.
- Ethnologue entry for Tunisia
- "CIA – The World Factbook — Tunisia". Retrieved 2007-01-13.
- National Institute of Statistics - Tunisia
- Luis JR, Rowold DJ, Regueiro M, et al. (March 2004). "The Levant versus the Horn of Africa: evidence for bidirectional corridors of human migrations". Am. J. Hum. Genet. 74 (3): 532–44. doi:10.1086/382286. PMC 1182266. PMID 14973781.
- The X chromosome Alu insertions as a tool for human population genetics: data from European and African human groups, Athanasiadis et al. 2007
- Tomas C, Sanchez JJ, Barbaro A, et al (2008). "X-chromosome SNP analyses in 11 human Mediterranean populations show a high overall genetic homogeneity except in North-west Africans (Moroccans)". BMC Evol. Biol. 8: 75. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-75. PMC 2315647. PMID 18312628. "Tunisians did not show a significant level of differentiation with northern populations as mentioned by others"
- Bekada A, Fregel R, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Pestano J, et al. (2013) Introducing the Algerian Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome Profiles into the North African Landscape. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056775
- As , Walters Keith (2003). "Fergie's prescience: the changing nature of diglossia in Tunisia". International Journal of the Society of Language 163: 85–87.
- The children born in the early 1980s had not yet begun English instruction by the time of the 1996 census, so no literacy rate in English is given. However, the children born between 1970-74 (who had completed their education) had a literacy in English of 20%. It's highly likely that the younger generation's literacy in English was even higher at the conclusion of their schooling. Walters 86.