Tunisia Fast Facts

Willie Grace | 10/28/2014, 1:35 p.m. | Updated on 10/28/2014, 1:35 p.m.
Here's a look at what you need to know about Tunisia, a country in northern African. Tunisia borders Algeria, Libya ...
Coast of Tunisia

(CNN) -- Here's a look at what you need to know about Tunisia, a country in northern African. Tunisia borders Algeria, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.

About Tunisia: (from the CIA World Factbook)

Area: 163,610 sq km, slightly larger than the U.S. state of Georgia

Population: 10,937,521 (July 2014 est.)

Median age: 31.4 years

Capital: Tunis

Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%

Religion: Sunni Muslim 99.1%, other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Bhai'i)

GDP: $108.4 billion (2013 est.)

GDP per capita: $9,900 (2013 est.)

Unemployment: 17.2% (2013 est.)

Other Facts: Tunisia is predominantly Sunni Muslim.

Women in Tunisia enjoy some of the greatest rights and freedoms in the Arab world.

Tunisia's 2011 mass popular uprising, dubbed the "Jasmine Revolution," gave rise to the Arab Spring, the grass-roots movement that toppled autocratic leaders and promoted freedom and democracy across the Arabic-speaking region in North Africa and the Middle East.

Timeline: 1574 - The Ottoman Empire takes control of Tunisia.

1881 - Tunisia becomes a French protectorate.

1955 - France allows Tunisia some self-governance.

March 20, 1956 - Tunisia achieves full independence from France.

1957 - Tunisia becomes a republic, with Habib Bourguiba as president.

June 1959 - Tunisia ratifies its constitution.

November 1959 - Habib Bourguiba is formally elected president.

March 1975 - Bourguiba is named president for life.

November 7, 1987 - Prime Minister Zine el Abidine Ben Ali assumes the presidency after overthrowing Bourguiba in a bloodless coup and declaring him medically unfit to rule. Ben Ali is elected president five times -- in 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009.

December 17, 2010 - According to locals, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit vendor, sets himself on fire in protest after police try to confiscate his belongings. He dies on January 4, 2011.

Late December 2010-Early January 2011 - Bouazizi's act of self-immolation sparks widespread protests over rising unemployment rates, poverty levels, inflation and government repression and corruption.

January 14, 2011 - President Zine el Abedine Ben Ali flees the country for Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi takes over in his absence. This period is called the "Jasmine Revolution," which marks the beginning of and inspiration for the Arab Spring.

January 15, 2011 - Speaker of Parliament Fouad Mebazaa is sworn in as interim president. Mebazaa asks Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi to form a national unity government.

January 18, 2011 - Mebazaa and Ghannouchi resign from the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), which was the ruling party of former president Zine el Abedine Ben Ali. This is a move seen as a gesture to placate angry street demonstrators and keep the unity government afloat.

January 20, 2011 - Other ministers for the interim government also resign from the RCD.

January 30, 2011 - Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda party, returns to Tunisia after 22 years of exile.

February 27, 2011 - Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns. Tunisia's interim president selects Al-Baji Qa'ed Al-Sebsi as the new prime minister.