While there is still more work to be done in decreasing employment rates and making housing more affordable, the North African country of Tunisia has made significant strides in improving the living conditions for its citizens. Substantial developments have been made in moving towards universal health care and bolstering Tunisia’s education system. In the article below, the top 10 facts about living conditions in Tunisia are presented.
Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Tunisia
- More work still needs to be done in increasing employment rates for youth and women in the country. Youth employment is one of the main issues that Tunisia faces. One solution is to enhance the capacity for job creation in the formal private sector. The unemployment rate of youth aged from 15 to 30 is higher than 30 percent. The unemployment rate for women is even more than this percentage in some areas. The percentage of the labor force with a college degree increased from 10 percent to 16 percent from 2000 to 2010, and this percentage keeps increasing. One issue facing those who are educated is that their quality of education does not meet the skills required for certain jobs.
- Some more progress can be made in Tunisia in decreasing the unemployment rate. In Tunisia, the unemployment rate increased from 15.40 percent in the second quarter of 2018 to 15.50 percent in the third quarter of 2018. The overall unemployment rate in Tunisia was 15.36 percent on average from 2005 to 2018. The largest percentage of the unemployment rate was 18.90 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the lowest was 12.80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.
- Some progress has been made in increasing country’s GDP that has helped to ameliorate living conditions in Tunisia. From 2000 to 2014, Tunisia’s GDP increased from $21.47 billion to $47.59 billion. However, in the last few years, GDP decreased, and was at $40.25 billion in 2017.
- Significant strides have been made in decreasing poverty and extreme poverty. From 1995 to 2010, Tunisia has drastically reduced poverty from one million to 0.2 million people. From 2000 to 2015, poverty has decreased from 25 percent to 15 percent, respectively. In addition, extreme poverty has decreased to 3 percent in 2015 from 7.5 percent in 2000.
- Economic policies were implemented to decrease poverty in the country and they are the main reason why there was a decrease in poverty during periods where there was no economic growth.
- More work still needs to be done in making housing more affordable. Some issues households in Tunisia face is inflation and the small number of microfinance for housing, hindering the access to finance. The primary ways the government helps households finance affordable housing is through financial subsidies.
- The Ministry of Health governs the public health care system in Tunisia, bolstered by numerous public institutions. There are three levels of care in Tunisia: primary, made up of 81 clinics and 2,091 basic health centers, secondary, made up of 109 district hospitals, and tertiary, made up of 33 regional hospitals and 24 modern specialized centers and teaching hospitals. The public sector is the main health care provider in Tunisia, providing for 87 percent of hospital bed capacity, totaling to 31,936 beds.
- There have been substantial developments in Tunisia in moving towards universal health care coverage, which is in part demonstrated by the work of the National Health Insurance Fund. The annual health care spending in 2013 totaled to 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP. Thirty-seven percent of the cost was spent by Tunisian households, 35 percent was spent by the National Health Insurance Fund and 28 percent was spent by the government.
- The Tunisian government places a strong emphasis on education. There are three levels of education in Tunisia that are basic education, secondary education and higher education. The government sees the value in education for growing its human resources and has made primary education mandatory and at free of costs.
- Due to the decreasing quality of education and high unemployment rates of young graduates, the government is striving to overhaul its education system. After the 2011 revolution that marked the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Government of Tunisia has been endeavoring to make reforms in a Strategic Plan for the Education Sector 2016-2020. The objectives of the five-year plan are strengthening quality standards through teacher training, bolstering curriculum and infrastructure and improving the framework for private sector partnerships.
There has been significant progress in ameliorating the living conditions in Tunisia. While still more strides can and must be made in decreasing employment rates and making housing more affordable, the country has increased its GDP substantially, decreased poverty and extreme poverty as well. With more effort, a bright future is on the horizon for further improving living conditions in Tunisia.
– Daniel McAndrew-Greiner