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Society

Tunis / Photo HH

Tunisia has a bilingual, multifaceted society. Arabic is the official language, but French is still widely used in business, education, and daily life, especially in the country’s urban centres. Tunisian Arabic is widespread in rural areas, where illiteracy is much higher and many people speak only basic French, or none at all. Tunisian Arabic has been influenced significantly by other languages, especially Berber and French.

Tunisian society has changed greatly since the revolution that ousted President Ben Ali. Islamists, who had been suppressed and often exiled, have become more numerous, and religious symbols, such as the veil, have reappeared. Women play an active part in Tunisian society and enjoy a high level of education, even though they are still under-represented in the workforce.

Further Reading

The Human Development Index (HDI) value for Tunisia in 2011 was 0.698, which ranks the country 94 out of 187 countries and territories in the category of high human development. The average HDI value for countries in this category...
Tunisian society is not only divided along ethnic and religious lines. Many of Tunisia's most influential people come from a few large families that dominate the country's economy and politics. These families are deeply rooted in ...
The average household size in Tunisia was 4.7 people in 2007, a gradual decrease from 5.3 in 1990. Traditionally, the Tunisian family household consists of three generations. The youngest generation, however, increasingly follows ...
While customs and traditions strengthened the role of women in Tunisia's society, religious traditions and customs nevertheless long undermined women's effective participation in society. Some modernist thinkers, such as Tahar Had...
Tunisia has a young population, who are an active but increasingly volatile social group. Unemployment is high amongst the youth of Tunisia, and many of Tunisia's youth suffer from economic hardship and accompanying political disi...
Tunisia's education system has its roots in the French system. Basic education involves six years of primary education, after which students must take an exam to proceed to three years of preparatory education.
The World Health Organization's 2008-2013 Tunisia Country Cooperation Strategy states that Tunisia has improved his health-care system over the past years, despite the country's limited material resources. This has led to a genera...
The US Department of State classifies Tunisia as posing a medium threat of crime. Tourist areas particularly are at risk from thieves targeting purses and other valuable items. Vehicle break-ins and fraud are also threats, especia...

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