Key economic indicators of Tunisia - statistics & facts

Tunisia is a relatively small economy in North Africa characterized by a large service sector, a shrinking industrial segment, and growing agricultural production. In 2021, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Tunisia was estimated at 44.3 billion U.S. dollars. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis caused a contraction of the GDP, which fell by nearly nine percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. In 2021, the public debt reached 41 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to increase to 69.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.

Strong service

Services represent Tunisia’s main economic sector, accounting for almost 60 percent of the GDP and attracting 55 percent of the working population. Specifically, the majority are employed in education, health care, administration, trade, real estate, and business services, which are the pillars of the country’s tertiary sector. Tourism is also of great importance for the Tunisian economy, constituting nearly 8.8 percent of the GDP in 2021. National and international tourists are particularly attracted by the well-known country’s seaside resorts and the impressive landscapes of the Sahara desert. However, international tourism receipts in Tunisia declined dramatically in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, falling to around 580 thousand U.S. dollars compared to 1.7 million U.S. dollars in the previous year.

Shrinking industrial sector

Contrary to many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Tunisia is not particularly rich in oil and gas. The country’s industrial sector has been gradually shrinking in recent years, with its GDP contribution declining from over 31 percent to around 23 percent between 2008 and 2018, respectively. Notwithstanding that some industries are growing, only a few sectors, such as textiles, energy, and mining, had a positive trade balance in 2020. Phosphates, petroleum, zinc, and iron ore are among the country’s most abundant natural resources, which are exploited in industrial production and lead to significant export value.

The potential of agriculture

Agriculture represents around 10 percent of Tunisia’s GDP, as well as 13 percent of the total employment. In 2020, the agriculture and fishery industry’s value added grew by 4.4 percent, showing an exceptional increase during the COVID-19 crisis. With an agricultural land area of 9.74 million hectares, the country mainly produces cereals, tomatoes, potatoes, and citrus fruits, and ranks among the world’s leading producers of olive oil and dates. Moreover, Tunisia’s fishery and aquaculture production was worth around 510 million U.S. dollars in 2019. However, the agriculture and fishery sector could be developed further. This would represent an opportunity to create new jobs and tackle unemployment, which is particularly widespread among youth and women. Moreover, the expansion of this sector would increase the levels of food security by reducing reliance on food imports.

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Government finances

Inflation and prices

Employment

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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Key economic indicators of Tunisia ".

Key economic indicators of Tunisia

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Key economic indicators of Tunisia - statistics & facts

Tunisia is a relatively small economy in North Africa characterized by a large service sector, a shrinking industrial segment, and growing agricultural production. In 2021, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Tunisia was estimated at 44.3 billion U.S. dollars. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis caused a contraction of the GDP, which fell by nearly nine percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. In 2021, the public debt reached 41 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to increase to 69.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.

Strong service

Services represent Tunisia’s main economic sector, accounting for almost 60 percent of the GDP and attracting 55 percent of the working population. Specifically, the majority are employed in education, health care, administration, trade, real estate, and business services, which are the pillars of the country’s tertiary sector. Tourism is also of great importance for the Tunisian economy, constituting nearly 8.8 percent of the GDP in 2021. National and international tourists are particularly attracted by the well-known country’s seaside resorts and the impressive landscapes of the Sahara desert. However, international tourism receipts in Tunisia declined dramatically in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, falling to around 580 thousand U.S. dollars compared to 1.7 million U.S. dollars in the previous year.

Shrinking industrial sector

Contrary to many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Tunisia is not particularly rich in oil and gas. The country’s industrial sector has been gradually shrinking in recent years, with its GDP contribution declining from over 31 percent to around 23 percent between 2008 and 2018, respectively. Notwithstanding that some industries are growing, only a few sectors, such as textiles, energy, and mining, had a positive trade balance in 2020. Phosphates, petroleum, zinc, and iron ore are among the country’s most abundant natural resources, which are exploited in industrial production and lead to significant export value.

The potential of agriculture

Agriculture represents around 10 percent of Tunisia’s GDP, as well as 13 percent of the total employment. In 2020, the agriculture and fishery industry’s value added grew by 4.4 percent, showing an exceptional increase during the COVID-19 crisis. With an agricultural land area of 9.74 million hectares, the country mainly produces cereals, tomatoes, potatoes, and citrus fruits, and ranks among the world’s leading producers of olive oil and dates. Moreover, Tunisia’s fishery and aquaculture production was worth around 510 million U.S. dollars in 2019. However, the agriculture and fishery sector could be developed further. This would represent an opportunity to create new jobs and tackle unemployment, which is particularly widespread among youth and women. Moreover, the expansion of this sector would increase the levels of food security by reducing reliance on food imports.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Key economic indicators of Tunisia ".

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