Tunisia , officially the Tunisian Republic, is the northernmost country in Africa and, at almost 165,000 square kilometres in area, the smallest country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. As of 2013, its population is estimated at just under 10.8 million. Its name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, located on the country's northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil. Its 1,300 kilometres of coastline includes the African conjunction of the western and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Basin and, by means of the Sicilian Strait and Sardinian Channel, features the African mainland's second and third nearest points to Europe after Gibraltar.