The number of migrants who left Tunisia for Italy increased by 45 percent from 2015 to 2016. According to the Observatoire Maghrébin des Migrations, the increase is due to unfavorable economic conditions and a lack of employment chances in Tunisia.
In total, 820 Tunisians landed on Italy's coasts in 2016. This is almost twice as much as in the year before when 569 Tunisians arrived. The numbers were released by the Observatoire Maghrébin des Migrations of the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux, an independent body that gathers data based on press reports, official statements and its sources.
The observatory said the increase was due to the ''unfavorable economic and social situation in Tunisia, where the unemployment rate reached 15.4 percent in 2016." Irregular emigration attempts also increased with 25 cases reported in 2015 and 75 in 2016. After the 2011 uprising, Tunisia reported a boom in illegal emigration towards Italian coasts with over 25,000 emigres and 503 Tunisians officially reported missing at sea, according to the report.
97 percent male
The majority of departures or attempted departures towards Italy were reported from the governorate of Sfax and Nabeul (64 percent ), only 14 percent from Monastir, 11 percent from the coasts of Mahdia, 4 percent from Médenine, 3.16 percent from Gabes, 2.35 percent from Grand-Tunis, 1.8 percent from Biserta and 0.45 percent from Sousse.
According to the report, the migration flow peaked in the fall of 2016, mainly due to favorable weather conditions. It also said that 97 percent of migrants in 2016 were men and 3 percent women. Of those, 31 percent were Tunisians while the others were from sub-Saharan African countries. A reported 7% of migrants listed in the report were not Tunisian nationals.