Some 1,295,000 Tunisian nationals were registered with Tunisian representations abroad in 2022, a number that has grown in recent years, according to the Higher Council for Tunisians Abroad.
More than 12% of the Tunisian population lives outside of their home country. Many of these people are working in France, Italy, Germany, Libya or other countries and they send a part of what they earn home to support their families and relatives.
If the Tunisian community abroad were a Governorate, it would be Tunisia’s first largest in terms of population. The percentage of total Tunisian citizens living abroad has grown from 4.1% in 2001 to 7.2% in 2017 and 12.8% in 2022.
Of the approximately 1,295,000 Tunisians abroad registered at the end of 2022, about 81% live in Europe. France is home to the largest Tunisian community abroad, followed by Italy and Germany.
There are some 110,385 Tunisians in different Arab countries, 44,195 in North America, 3,359 in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 2,365 in Asia (excluding the Arab countries), with 514 in Australia.
The number of Tunisians abroad is increasing in all age groups. The 20-64s are the biggest age group (60.2%) among Tunisians abroad, followed by the 65 and overs (8.9%) and the under 18s (21.1%).
It is a direct result of the high rate of emigration Tunisia has experienced since independence in 1956. The favorable economic situation in France and Europe during the 1960s and 1970s played a role in the growth of the phenomena. The beginning of the 1980s saw the clear development of a Tunisian community in Europe as a result of the large number of people.
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Three quarters of the Tunisians abroad have at least one additional citizenship. The proportion of Tunisians with multiple nationalities is highest in European countries (80%), especially in Western Europe.
The figures show that the mode of emigration is also changing, with more and more Tunisian people spending some time in a foreign country and then returning to Tunisia.
According to a survey conducted between 2020 and 2022, nearly 40ù of the youth aged 15-29 years in Tunisia intended to leave their country to live, work, or study abroad. The intention to emigrate decreased among older age groups. For instance, 14% of the respondents aged 40-49 years planned to leave Tunisia.
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