I have made some additions to the change history, using source  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".
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:
Arabic: al Jumhuriya at-Tunisiya (formal)
Dutch: Tunesië, Republiek Tunesië (formal)
English: Republic of Tunisia (formal), Tunis (obsolete)
French: Tunisie f
German: Tunesien n
Italian: Tunisia f
Norwegian: Tunisia, Republikken Tunisia (formal)
Portuguese: Tunísia, República f da Tunísia f (formal)
Russian: Тунис, Тунисская Республика (formal)
Spanish: Túnez, Tunisia f, República f de Túnez m (formal)
Turkish: Tunus Cumhuriyeti (formal)
Origin of name:
from the capital, Tunis + -ia (suffix for country)
Tunisia is divided into 24 wilayat (governorates).
Tunisia uses four-digit postal codes in which the first two digits indicate the governorate.
The provinces are divided into mutamadiyat (delegations, districts). The census reports show a tertiary division, the imada (sector).
Bizerte includes the islands of La Galite.
Médenine includes the island of Djerba.
Nabeul includes the island of Zembra.
Sfax includes the Kerkennah Islands. The two main islands are Chergui and Gharbi, and nearby are the small and uninhabited Rhermedi, Roumedia, and Sefnou.
The UN LOCODE page for Tunisia lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.
Origins of names:
Bizerte: originally Hippo Diarrhytos (Phoenician hippo: fort, Greek diarrhytos: split in two), rendered in Arabic as Hippo Zarytos, later Banzart.
Le Kef: Arabic kef: rock
Mahdia: named after Caliph Obaid Allah el Mahdi (early 10th cent.)
Monastir: from Greek monasterion: monastery
Nabeul: from Greek nea: new, polis: city
Tunis: possibly from Tanit, Phoenician moon goddess
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:
Note: Source  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  takes 13,968 people away from the Zaghouan civil roll and gives them to Sousse.
1956-03-20: Tunisia gained full independence.
1956-06-21: Tunisia reorganized from caidates into 14 wilayats (governorates) by decree.
1957-09-25: Name of Nabeul governorate changed to Cap Bon, and its capital moved to Grombalia, under Law 57-31.
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.
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.
1966-05-31: Name of Souk el Arba governorate, and its capital, changed to Jendouba, by decree 66-223.
1968-05-27: Name of Tunis and Suburbs governorate changed to Tunis, by decree 68-142.
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.
1973-12-08: Sidi Bou Zid governorate created from parts of Gafsa, Kasserine, and Sfax (former TS11), under Law 73-75.
1974-03-09: Mahdia governorate created from parts of Sfax and Sousse; Monastir governorate split from Sousse, under Law 74-8.
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:
1976-08-11: Tunis and Tunis South reorganized into Zaghouan (mostly from Tunis South) and Tunis, under Law 76-82.
1980-05-28: Tozeur governorate split from Gafsa, under Law 80-35.
1981-03-01: Tataouine governorate split from Médenine, under Law 81-11.
1981-09-24: Kébili governorate split from Gabès, under Law 81-18.
1983-12-03: Ariana and Ben Arous governorates split from Tunis, under Law 83-104.
2000-07-31: Manouba governorate split from Ariana (former HASC code TN.AN, FIPS code TS26), under Law 2000-78.
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.
Ariana: Al Ariānah, L'Ariana, Tunis Ariana (variant); Al Aryānah (Arabic)
Béja: Bājah (Arabic); Béjah (variant)
Ben Arous: Bin `Arūs (Arabic); Tunis Ben Arous (variant)
Bizerte: Banzart (Arabic); Bensert, Binzart (variant); Biserta (German, Italian); Bizerta (Portuguese, Spanish)
Gabès: Gābis (variant); Qābis (Arabic)
Gafsa: Gafṣah (variant); Qafṣah (Arabic)
Jendouba: Jendoûbah, Jenduba, Jondouba (variant); Jundūbah (Arabic); Souk-El-Arba (obsolete)
Kairouan: Al Qayrawān (Arabic); Al Qīrwān, Qairouân (variant); Kairuã (Portuguese)
Kassérine: Al Gaṣrīn, Al Qasrin, Kasserim (variant); Al Qaṣrayn (Arabic); Sbeitla (obsolete)
Kebili: Kebilli, Qbili (variant); Qibilī (Arabic)
Le Kef: Al Kāf (Arabic); El Kef, Kaf, Kef (variant)
Mahdia: Al Madīyah, Al Mahdiyya, Mahdiâh (variant); Al Mahdīyah (Arabic)
Manouba: La Manouba, Mannouba (variant)
Médenine: Madanīn, Medenin (variant); Madanīyīn (Arabic)
Monastir: Al Munastīr (Arabic)
Nabeul: Cap Bon (obsolete); Nabil, Nābol (variant); Nābul (Arabic)
Sfax: Ṣafāqis (Arabic); Ṣfāqis (variant)
Sidi Bou Zid: Qamudah, Sidi Boû Sa`îd, Sidi Buzid, Sidi Bū Sa`īd (variant); Sīdī Bū Zayd (Arabic)
Siliana: Siliānah (variant); Silyānah (Arabic)
Sousse: Sousa, Sussa, Susse (variant); Susa (Italian, Spanish); Sūsah (Arabic)
Tataouine: Foum Tataouine, Tatahouine, Tatuine (variant); Taţāwīn (Arabic)
Tozeur: Tawzar (Arabic); Touzar, Tūzar (variant)
Tunis: Tounis, Tunis City, Tūnus (variant); Túnez (Spanish); Túnis (Portuguese); Tunisi (Italian); Tūnis (Arabic)
Tunis and Suburbs: Tunis-et-Banlieue (French); Tunis wa al Ahwaz (Arabic)
Zaghouan: Tunis al Janubiyah, Tunis South (obsolete); Zachouan, Zaguan (variant); Zaghwān (Arabic)
Sources: 1975 - ; 1984 - ; 1994 - ; 2004 - . However, the total for 1994 is taken from .
Sources  and  provide populations that differ by as much as 8.1%. Source  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 . Population of Tunis South listed under Zaghouan.
Source  had 1994 and 2004 census data, rounded to the nearest thousand. Its 1994 figures differ from  by no more than 1.85% in each governorate. The 1994 total in  and the one in  are the same, within rounding error. Unfortunately, the total of the populations given in  is 8,735,875, off by almost 50,000. If we could assume that  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,  and  would be in excessive disagreement over Gabès.
 Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition. Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition. 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. Steinberg, S.H., ed. The Statesman's Year-Book 1959. Macmillan & Co., London, 1959. Hunter, Brian, ed. The Statesman's Year-Book 1993-94. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1993. Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th Edition, Chicago, 1984. "Ershiyi (21) Shiji Shijie Diming Lu", Beijing, 2001. Summary Population Report, retrieved from http://www.tunisieinfo.com/indicateurs/recensement2004-fr.pdf (dead link) on 2005-04-30. Tunisian Industry Portal (retrieved 2008-01-23). French version gives creation dates of governorates. Tunisian National Statistics Institute (retrieved 2007-10-05) Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20). Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Vol. II. New York: United Nations, 1991. 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. 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
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