Governorates of Tunisia

Buy data    Donate

Updates: 

I have made some additions to the change history, using source [14] and others.

Update 7 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS standard 10-4, was issued with the date 2012-02-01. It changes the spellings of Ariana, Kebili, and Sidi Bou Zid to L’Ariana, Kébili, and Sidi Bouzid, respectively.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. For Tunisia, the only change is that the name of one governorate is changed from L'Ariana to Ariana.

The latest version of the FIPS standard is called "Geopolitical Entities and Codes", published in 2010-04. For no apparent reason, it has changed the code for one district of Tunisia.

FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 9, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2004-10-01. It assigns a code to the new Manouba governorate. It also changes the name of El Kef governorate to Kef (shown as Le Kef in the tables below).

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-5, dated 2003-09-05, gives a code for the new Manouba governorate. Newsletter Number I-6 was published on 2004-03-08. It changes the name of Manouba to "La Manouba".

Country overview: 

Short nameTUNISIA
ISO codeTN
FIPS codeTS
LanguageArabic (ar)
Time zone+1~
CapitalTunis

 

Tunisia (more commonly called Tunis, formally the Regency of Tunis, until about 1930) began the 20th century as a French protectorate. It gained full independence on 1956-03-20. Tunisia's desert boundaries were indistinct at first, and there is still a border dispute with Algeria.

Other names of country: 

  1. Arabic: al Jumhuriya at-Tunisiya (formal)
  2. Danish: Tunesien
  3. Dutch: Tunesië, Republiek Tunesië (formal)
  4. English: Republic of Tunisia (formal), Tunis (obsolete)
  5. Finnish: Tunisia
  6. French: Tunisie f
  7. German: Tunesien n
  8. Icelandic: Túnis
  9. Italian: Tunisia f
  10. Norwegian: Tunisia, Republikken Tunisia (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Tunísia, República f da Tunísia f (formal)
  12. Russian: Тунис, Тунисская Республика (formal)
  13. Spanish: Túnez, Tunisia f, República f de Túnez m (formal)
  14. Swedish: Tunisien
  15. Turkish: Tunus Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

from the capital, Tunis + -ia (suffix for country)

Primary subdivisions: 

Tunisia is divided into 24 wilayat (governorates).

GovernorateHASCISOFIPSPcPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Arabic
ArianaTN.AN12TS3820422,2461,558602Al Aryānah
BéjaTN.BJ31TS1790304,5013,5581,374Bājah
Ben ArousTN.BA13TS2711,20505,773761294Bin `Arūs
BizerteTN.BZ23TS1870524,1283,6851,423Banzart
GabèsTN.GB81TS2960342,6307,1752,770Qābis
GafsaTN.GF71TS3021323,7098,9903,471Qafṣah
JendoubaTN.JE32TS0681416,6083,1021,198Jundūbah
KairouanTN.KR41TS0331546,2096,7122,592Al Qayrawān
KassérineTN.KS42TS0212412,2788,0663,114Al Qaṣrayn
KebiliTN.KB73TS3142143,21822,0848,527Qibilī
Le KefTN.KF33TS1471258,7904,9651,917Al Kāf
MahdiaTN.MH53TS1551377,8532,9661,145Al Mahdīyah
ManoubaTN.MN14TS3911,20335,912  Manubah
MédenineTN.ME82TS2841432,5038,5883,316Madanīyīn
MonastirTN.MS52TS1650455,5901,019393Al Munastīr
NabeulTN.NB21TS1980693,8902,7881,076Nābul
SfaxTN.SF61TS3230855,2567,5452,913Safāqis
Sidi Bou ZidTN.SZ43TS3391395,5066,9942,700Sīdī Bū Zayd
SilianaTN.SL34TS2261233,9854,6311,788Silyānah
SousseTN.SS51TS2340544,4132,6211,012Sūsah
TataouineTN.TA83TS3432143,52438,88915,015Taţāwīn
TozeurTN.TO72TS352297,5264,7191,822Tawzar
TunisTN.TU11TS3610,20983,861346134Tūnis
ZaghouanTN.ZA22TS3711160,9632,7681,069Zaghwān
24 governorates9,910,872154,53059,665
  • Governorate: French name, commonly also used in English.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "TN-"
    to the code (ex: TN-61 represents Sfax).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pc: First two digits of postal codes used in the governorate.
  • Population: 2004-04-28 census.
  • Area: Area of Manouba is included in Ariana.
  • Arabic: Most common transliteration of Arabic governorate name into the Roman
    alphabet.
  • Capital: All governorates have the same name as their capitals.

Postal codes: 

Tunisia uses four-digit postal codes in which the first two digits indicate the governorate.

Further subdivisions:

See the Delegations of Tunisia page.

The provinces are divided into mutamadiyat (delegations, districts). The census reports show a tertiary division, the imada (sector).

Territorial extent: 

  1. Bizerte includes the islands of La Galite.
  2. Médenine includes the island of Djerba.
  3. Nabeul includes the island of Zembra.
  4. Sfax includes the Kerkennah Islands. The two main islands are Chergui and Gharbi, and nearby are the small and uninhabited Rhermedi, Roumedia, and Sefnou.

Origins of names: 

  1. Bizerte: originally Hippo Diarrhytos (Phoenician hippo: fort, Greek diarrhytos: split in two), rendered in Arabic as Hippo Zarytos, later Banzart.
  2. Le Kef: Arabic kef: rock
  3. Mahdia: named after Caliph Obaid Allah el Mahdi (early 10th cent.)
  4. Monastir: from Greek monasterion: monastery
  5. Nabeul: from Greek nea: new, polis: city
  6. Tunis: possibly from Tanit, Phoenician moon goddess

Change history: 

  1. At the end of Tunisia's time as a protectorate of France, it consisted of 38 caidates (French: caïdats. A caidate is the jurisdiction of a caïd, or magistrate). They were:
CaidatePop-46Pop-56Civil roll
Ain Draham47,92055,220Tabanka
Beja101,909110,708Béja
Bizerte148,442164,791Bizerte
Djebeniana53,60155,242Sfax
Djemmal33,38043,106Sousse
Djerba59,33163,219Djerba
Gabès92,261102,475Gabès
Gafsa75,617105,525Gafsa
Kairouan113,503126,097Kairouan
La Skhira41,15351,825Sfax
Le Kef101,093112,490Le Kef
Mahdia77,70999,956Mahdia
Maktar39,85440,492Maktar
Mateur89,84293,753Bizerte
Matmata21,66325,396Territoires du Sud
Medjiz-el-Bab63,74073,473Medjez el Bab
Monastir62,22674,755Sousse
Nabeul144,102161,647Grombalia
Nefzaoua40,69048,013Territoires du Sud
Ouerghemma99,735109,588Territoires du Sud
Sbeitla86,469113,016Kasserine
Sfax190,805231,201Sfax
Sidi-Bou-Zid74,594101,560Gafsa
Siliana37,34839,902Maktar
Soliman67,33278,706Grombalia
Souassi32,11549,907Sousse
Souk-el-Arba76,10794,755Souk el Arba
Souk-el-Khemis37,99746,047Souk el Arba
Sousse122,468158,440Sousse
Tadjerouine62,52472,020Le Kef
Tataouine48,60763,413Territoires du Sud
Teboursouk59,15764,344Teboursouk
Thala36,56651,379Kasserine
Tozeur44,97052,181Tozeur
Tunis239,173268,484Tunis
Tunis (City)364,593410,000Tunis
Zaghouan74,73290,412Zaghouan
Zlass67,62478,942Kairouan
38 caidates3,230,9523,782,480
  • Pop-46: 1946-11-01 census.
  • Pop-56: 1956-02-01 census (preliminary).
  • Source: [1].
  • Civil roll: See note.

 

Note: Source [11] shows results of the 1946 census, broken down by "contrôles civils", which can be translated in various ways. The source doesn't give a translation. One possibility that I think fits is "civil rolls". By matching population totals, I was able to identify each caidate with the civil roll that includes it. There is one discrepancy: source [11] takes 13,968 people away from the Zaghouan civil roll and gives them to Sousse.

  1. 1956-03-20: Tunisia gained full independence.
  2. 1956-06-21: Tunisia reorganized from caidates into 14 wilayats (governorates) by decree.
GovernoratePopulationArea(km.²)
Béja244,6105,260
Bizerte232,7203,510
Gabès181,13064,050
Gafsa252,07018,530
Kairouan212,9707,030
Le Kef259,8008,060
Médenine244,63022,220
Nabeul241,7902,890
Sbeïtla167,0509,040
Sfax341,1408,870
Souk el Arba199,2703,050
Sousse453,9106,080
Tozeur
Tunis and Suburbs570,7105,560
14 governorates3,943,273164,150
  • Population: 1956-02-01 census
    (source [2]).
  • Capitals: have same names as
    governorates, except that Tunis
    is the capital of Tunis and
    suburbs.
  1. 1957-09-25: Name of Nabeul governorate changed to Cap Bon, and its capital moved to Grombalia, under Law 57-31.
  2. 1959-07-21: Name of Sbeïtla governorate changed to Kasserine, and its capital moved to Kasserine. Tozeur governorate split into two parts, which merged with Gabès and Gafsa governorates. These actions were taken under Law 59-79.
  3. 1964-09-17: Name of Cap Bon governorate changed to Nabeul, and its capital moved to Nabeul, by decree 64-294, reversing the 1957 change.
  4. 1966-05-31: Name of Souk el Arba governorate, and its capital, changed to Jendouba, by decree 66-223.
  5. 1968-05-27: Name of Tunis and Suburbs governorate changed to Tunis, by decree 68-142.
  6. 1972-02-15: Tunis South governorate created from parts of Béja (former FIPS code TS04), Bizerte (TS05), Nabeul (TS08), and Tunis and Suburbs (TS13). Part of Nabeul governorate transferred to Sousse (former TS12). These actions were taken under Law 72-1.
  7. 1973-12-08: Sidi Bou Zid governorate created from parts of Gafsa, Kasserine, and Sfax (former TS11), under Law 73-75.
  8. 1974-03-09: Mahdia governorate created from parts of Sfax and Sousse; Monastir governorate split from Sousse, under Law 74-8.
  9. 1974-06-05: Siliana governorate created from parts of Béja and Le Kef (former FIPS code TS01), under Law 74-47. The divisions at the time of the 1975 census were as follows:
GovernorateFIPSPopulation
BéjaTS17243,961
BizerteTS18346,445
GabèsTS09253,293
GafsaTS10237,534
JendoubaTS06288,989
KairouanTS03332,094
KasserineTS02235,913
Le KefTS14227,259
MahdiaTS15213,924
MédenineTS07290,046
MonastirTS16224,236
NabeulTS19371,706
SfaxTS20472,726
Sidi BouzidTS21213,115
SilianaTS22184,848
SousseTS23263,595
TunisTS24970,438
Tunis SudTS25202,071
18 governorates5,572,193
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 1975-05-08 census
    (source [14]).
  1. 1976-08-11: Tunis and Tunis South reorganized into Zaghouan (mostly from Tunis South) and Tunis, under Law 76-82.
  2. 1980-05-28: Tozeur governorate split from Gafsa, under Law 80-35.
  3. 1981-03-01: Tataouine governorate split from Médenine, under Law 81-11.
  4. 1981-09-24: Kébili governorate split from Gabès, under Law 81-18.
  5. 1983-12-03: Ariana and Ben Arous governorates split from Tunis, under Law 83-104.
  6. 2000-07-31: Manouba governorate split from Ariana (former HASC code TN.AN, FIPS code TS26), under Law 2000-78.
  7. 2010-04: FIPS code of Gafsa changed from TS10 to TS30.

Other names of subdivisions: 

There are numerous methods for transliterating from Arabic to the Roman alphabet. The names here labeled Arabic are not the only possible versions.

  1. Ariana: Al Ariānah, L'Ariana, Tunis Ariana (variant); Al Aryānah (Arabic)
  2. Béja: Bājah (Arabic); Béjah (variant)
  3. Ben Arous: Bin `Arūs (Arabic); Tunis Ben Arous (variant)
  4. Bizerte: Banzart (Arabic); Bensert, Binzart (variant); Biserta (German, Italian); Bizerta (Portuguese, Spanish)
  5. Gabès: Gābis (variant); Qābis (Arabic)
  6. Gafsa: Gafṣah (variant); Qafṣah (Arabic)
  7. Jendouba: Jendoûbah, Jenduba, Jondouba (variant); Jundūbah (Arabic); Souk-El-Arba (obsolete)
  8. Kairouan: Al Qayrawān (Arabic); Al Qīrwān, Qairouân (variant); Kairuã (Portuguese)
  9. Kassérine: Al Gaṣrīn, Al Qasrin, Kasserim (variant); Al Qaṣrayn (Arabic); Sbeitla (obsolete)
  10. Kebili: Kebilli, Qbili (variant); Qibilī (Arabic)
  11. Le Kef: Al Kāf (Arabic); El Kef, Kaf, Kef (variant)
  12. Mahdia: Al Madīyah, Al Mahdiyya, Mahdiâh (variant); Al Mahdīyah (Arabic)
  13. Manouba: La Manouba, Mannouba (variant)
  14. Médenine: Madanīn, Medenin (variant); Madanīyīn (Arabic)
  15. Monastir: Al Munastīr (Arabic)
  16. Nabeul: Cap Bon (obsolete); Nabil, Nābol (variant); Nābul (Arabic)
  17. Sfax: Ṣafāqis (Arabic); Ṣfāqis (variant)
  18. Sidi Bou Zid: Qamudah, Sidi Boû Sa`îd, Sidi Buzid, Sidi Bū Sa`īd (variant); Sīdī Bū Zayd (Arabic)
  19. Siliana: Siliānah (variant); Silyānah (Arabic)
  20. Sousse: Sousa, Sussa, Susse (variant); Susa (Italian, Spanish); Sūsah (Arabic)
  21. Tataouine: Foum Tataouine, Tatahouine, Tatuine (variant); Taţāwīn (Arabic)
  22. Tozeur: Tawzar (Arabic); Touzar, Tūzar (variant)
  23. Tunis: Tounis, Tunis City, Tūnus (variant); Túnez (Spanish); Túnis (Portuguese); Tunisi (Italian); Tūnis (Arabic)
  24. Tunis and Suburbs: Tunis-et-Banlieue (French); Tunis wa al Ahwaz (Arabic)
  25. Zaghouan: Tunis al Janubiyah, Tunis South (obsolete); Zachouan, Zaguan (variant); Zaghwān (Arabic)

Population history:

Governorate1975-05-081984-04-301994-04-202004-04-28
Ariana374,192566,247422,246
Béja243,961274,706301,898304,501
Ben Arous246,193369,552505,773
Bizerte346,445394,670475,053524,128
Gabès253,293240,016310,643342,630
Gafsa237,534235,723304,665323,709
Jendouba288,989359,429402,487416,608
Kairouan332,094421,607528,899546,209
Kassérine235,913297,959385,450412,278
Kebili95,371131,661143,218
Le Kef227,259247,672270,996258,790
Mahdia213,924270,435334,208377,853
Manouba335,912
Médenine290,046295,889382,699432,503
Monastir224,236278,478363,126455,590
Nabeul371,706461,405577,813693,890
Sfax472,726577,992732,471855,256
Sidi Bou Zid213,115288,528374,825395,506
Siliana184,848222,038243,536233,985
Sousse263,595322,491432,312544,413
Tataouine100,329133,676143,524
Tozeur67,94389,08897,526
Tunis970,438774,364881,560983,861
Zaghouan202,071118,743143,010160,963
Totals5,572,1936,966,1738,785,3649,910,872

 

Sources: 1975 - [14]; 1984 - [5]; 1994 - [7]; 2004 - [10]. However, the total for 1994 is taken from [8].

Sources [6] and [14] provide populations that differ by as much as 8.1%. Source [6] had a list of governorates that included some that were created after the census date; it also was rounded to the nearest hundred. Therefore, I report the data from source [14]. Population of Tunis South listed under Zaghouan.

Source [3] had 1994 and 2004 census data, rounded to the nearest thousand. Its 1994 figures differ from [7] by no more than 1.85% in each governorate. The 1994 total in [3] and the one in [8] are the same, within rounding error. Unfortunately, the total of the populations given in [7] is 8,735,875, off by almost 50,000. If we could assume that [7] had transposed the second and fourth digits in the population of Gabès, and that it was actually 360,143, that would make the total for Tunisia come out with an error of only 11. However, if that were the case, [3] and [7] would be in excessive disagreement over Gabès.

Sources: 

  1. [1] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
  2. [2] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition.
  3. [3] La Tunisie à Travers les Recensements Généraux de la Population et de l'Habitat. Institut National de la Statistique. Retrieved from http://www.tn.undp.org/RECENSEMENT.PDF (dead link) on 2005-04-30.
  4. [4] Steinberg, S.H., ed. The Statesman's Year-Book 1959. Macmillan & Co., London, 1959.
  5. [5] Hunter, Brian, ed. The Statesman's Year-Book 1993-94. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1993.
  6. [6] Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th Edition, Chicago, 1984.
  7. [7] "Ershiyi (21) Shiji Shijie Diming Lu", Beijing, 2001.
  8. [8] Summary Population Report, retrieved from http://www.tunisieinfo.com/indicateurs/recensement2004-fr.pdf (dead link) on 2005-04-30.
  9. [9] Tunisian Industry Portal  (retrieved 2008-01-23). French version gives creation dates of governorates.
  10. [10] Tunisian National Statistics Institute  (retrieved 2007-10-05)
  11. [11] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  12. [12] Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Vol. II. New York: United Nations, 1991.
  13. [13] Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia  website, accessed 2011-11-10. Sorin Cosoveanu scoured this website to find the laws relating to the administrative division of Tunisia from 1956 on. The change history, above, reflects his findings.
  14. [14] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
Back to main statoids page Last updated: 2012-02-18
Copyright © 2001, 2003-2012 by Gwillim Law.