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Poland Facts

Poland Facts | Republic of Poland Information | Poland Statistics | Poland

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 POLISH POLITICAL
  Poland Facts |  Republic of Poland Information | Poland Statistics  
Background: Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, but Poland still faces the lingering challenges of high unemployment, underdeveloped and dilapidated infrastructure, and a poor rural underclass. Solidarity suffered a major defeat in the 2001 parliamentary elections when it failed to elect a single deputy to the lower house of Parliament, and the new leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union subsequently pledged to reduce the Trade Union's political role. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.
 
 
Common Name: Poland Local Official Name: Polska
Abbreviated Name: Republic of Poland Official Name: Rzeczpospolita Polska
Official Script Name: Poland Local Common Name: Poland
Former Name: Poland Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: President Lech KACZYNSKI
 
Government Type: republic
 
Independence: 1918 November 11 (independent republic proclaimed)
 
Constitution: 1997 October 16; adopted by the National Assembly 1997 April 2; passed by national referendum 1997 May 23
 
National Holiday: Constitution Day, 3 May
 
International Organization Participation: ACCT (observer), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
 
Administrative Divisions: 16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover Communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts, but rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are f
 
Suffrage: 18 years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: President Lech KACZYNSKI (since 23 December 2005) head of government: Prime Minister Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI (since 10 July 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers Ludwik DORN (since 23 November 2005), Roman GIERTYCH (since 5 May 2006), Zyta GILOWSKA (since 22 September 2006), Andrzej LEPPER (since 16 October 2006) cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the prime minister and the Sejm; the prime minister proposes, the president appoints, and the Sejm approves the Council of Ministers elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 9 and 23 October 2005 (next to be held October 2010); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm election results: Lech KACZYNSKI elected president; percent of popular vote - Lech KACZYNSKI 54%, Donald Tusk 46% Legislative Branch: bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house, the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms), and a lower house, the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms); the designation of National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the two houses meet jointly elections: Senate - last held 25 September 2005 (next to be held by September 2009); Sejm elections last held 25 September 2005 (next to be held by September 2009) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PiS 49, PO 34, LPR 7, SO 3, PSL 2, independents 5; Sejm - percent of vote by party - PiS 27%, PO 24.1%, SO 11.4%, SLD 11.3%, LPR 8%, PSL 7%, other 11.2%; seats by party - PiS 155, PO 133, SO 56, SLD 55, LPR 34, PSL 25, German minorities 2 note: two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties in the Sejm only Judicial Branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period); Constitutional Tribunal (judges are chosen by the Sejm for nine-year terms)
 
Party Leaders: Definition Field Listing Catholic-National Movement or RKN [Antoni MACIEREWICZ]; Civic Platform or PO [Donald TUSK]; Conservative Peasants Party or SKL [Artur BALASZ]; Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Wojciech OLEJNICZAK]; Democratic Party or PD [Wladyslaw FRASYNIUK]; Dom Ojczysty (Fatherland Home); German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Henryk KROLL]; Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI]; League of Polish Families or LPR [Marek KOTLINOWSKI]; Peasant-Democratic Party or PLD [Roman JAGIELINSKI]; Polish Accord or PP [Jan LOPUSZANSKI]; Polish Peasant Party or PSL [Waldemar PAWLAK]; Ruch Patriotyczny or RP [Jan OLSZEWSKI]; Samoobrona or SO [Andrzej LEPPER]; Social Democratic Party of Poland or SDPL [Marek BOROWSKI]; Social Movement or RS [Krzysztof PIESIEWICZ]; Union of Labor or UP [Andrzej SPYCHALSKI]
 
International Disputes: as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland must implement the strict Schengen border rules
 
Illicit Drugs: major illicit producer of synthetic drugs for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe 
 
 
 POLISH GEOGRAPHY
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Location of Poland: Central Europe, east of Germany
 
Continent: Europe Land Area Total: 312,685 sq km 
Region: Eastern Europe Land Area Land: 304,465 sq km
Capitol City: Warsaw Land Area Water: 8,220 sq km
      
Latitude: 052 00 N Border Boundary Land: 3,056 km
Longitude: 020 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 491 km 
  
Arable Land: 40.25 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 1.00 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 2,499 m Location: Rysy
Lowest Elevation: -2 m Location: Raczki Elblaskie
  
Largest City in Poland: Katowice Katowice Largest City Population: 3,475,000
  
Threatened Species: 40
 
Environmental Issues: situation has improved since 1989 due to decline in heavy industry and increased environmental concern by post-Communist governments; air pollution nonetheless remains serious because of sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the resulting acid rain has caused forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is also a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes; pollution levels should continue to decrease as industrial establishments bring their facilities up to EU code, but at substantial cost to business and the government
 
Environmental Agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
 
Irrigated Land: 1,000
 
Bordering Countries: Belarus 416 km, Czech Republic 790 km, Germany 467 km, Lithuania 103 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Slovakia 541 km, Ukraine 529 km
 
Natural Resources: coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, arable land
 
Geographical Terrain: mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
 
Comparative Area of Poland: slightly smaller than New Mexico
 
Poland's Geography: historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain
 

 POLISH CLIMATE
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General Climate: temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers
 
Natural Hazards: flooding
 
 
 POLISH ECONOMY
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Economic Overview: Definition Field Listing Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of economic liberalization throughout the 1990s and today stands out as a success story among transition economies. Even so, much remains to be done, especially in bringing down the unemployment rate - currently the highest in the EU. The privatization of small- and medium-sized state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms has encouraged the development of the private business sector, but legal and bureaucratic obstacles alongside persistent corruption are hampering its further development. Poland's agricultural sector remains handicapped by surplus labor, inefficient small farms, and lack of investment. Restructuring and privatization of "sensitive sectors" (e.g., coal, steel, railroads, and energy), while recently initiated, have stalled. Reforms in health care, education, the pension system, and state administration have resulted in larger-than-expected fiscal pressures. Further progress in public finance depends mainly on reducing losses in Polish state enterprises, restraining entitlements, and overhauling the tax code to incorporate the growing gray economy and farmers, most of whom pay no tax. The previous Socialist-led government introduced a package of social and administrative spending cuts to reduce public spending by about $17 billion through 2007, but full implementation of the plan was trumped by election-year politics in 2005. The right-wing Law and Justice party won parliamentary elections in September, and Lech KACZYNSKI won the presidential election in October 2005, running on a state-interventionist fiscal and monetary platform. Poland joined the EU in May 2004, and surging exports to the EU contributed to Poland's strong growth in 2004, though its competitiveness could be threatened by the zloty's appreciation. GDP per capita roughly equals that of the three Baltic states. Poland stands to benefit from nearly $23.2 billion in EU funds, available through 2006. Farmers have already begun to reap the rewards of membership via booming exports, higher food prices, and EU agricultural subsidies.
 
 
GDP: $505,200,000,000 USD Currency: zloty
GDP per Capita: $13,100 USD Currency Code: PLN
GDP Growth Rate: 3.40 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: zlotych per US dollar - 3.2355 (2005), 3.6576 (2004), 3.8891 (2003), 4.08 (2002), 4.0939 (2001)
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 5.00 % GDP of Industry: 31.10 %
GDP of Services: 64.00 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 2.20 % Population in Poverty: 17.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 18.20 % Tourism: 17,950,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 3.10 % Budget Revenue in USD: $52,730,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 26.70 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $63,220,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 150,800,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 15,200,000,000 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 121,300,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 5,000,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 98.10% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 1.54% Other Electricity Production: 0.36%
   
Oil Production: 24,530 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 4,330,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 476,200 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 14,970,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 53,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 44,000,000 cu m
Oil Imports: 413,700 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 9,450,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 142,400,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 154,400,000,000 cu m
   
External Debt: $101,500,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $13,900,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
   
Agricultural Products: potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy
 
Primary Industries: machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 3.70 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $95,670,000,000 USD - machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 14.8%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9.1%
 
Import Partners: Germany 29.6%, Russia 8.7%, Italy 6.6%, Netherlands 5.9%, France 5.7%
 
Export Amount in USD: $92,720,000,000 USD - machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6%
 
Export Partners: Germany 28.2%, France 6.2%, Italy 6.1%, UK 5.6%, Czech Republic 4.6%, Russia 4.4%, Netherlands 4.2%
 
    
GINI Index: 34.10%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 17,100,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: industry 29%, agriculture 16.1%, services 54.9%
 
  
 POLISH COMMUNICATIONS
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Radio Broadcast Stations: 792 Number of People with Radios: 20,200,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 40 Number of People with Televisions: 13,050,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 11,803,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 29,166,400
 
Internet Service Providers: 366,898 Internet Users: 10,600,000
 
Internet Country Code: .pl Newspapers: 102
Two Letter Country Code: PL Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 48 Electricity Voltage: 230 Volts
  
Telephone Systems: general assessment: modernization of the telecommunications network has accelerated with market based competition finalized in 2003; fixed-line service, dominated by the former state-owned company, is dwarfed by the growth in wireless telephony domestic: wireless service, available since 1993 (GSM service available since 1996) and provided by three nation-wide networks, has grown rapidly in response to the weak fixed-line coverage; third generation UMTS service available in urban areas; cellular coverage is generally good with more gaps in the east; fixed-line service is growing slowly and still lags in rural areas international: country code - 48; international direct dialing with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik)
 
  
 POLISH TRANSPORTATION
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Highways: 295,365 km Railways: 23,072 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 15,324 km Waterways: 3,997 km
Airports: 83 Heliports: 3
 
Motor Vehicles: 286 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 337,450,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 9.10 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: total: 11 ships (1000 GRT or over) 55,701 GRT/45,082 DWT by type: cargo 6, chemical tanker 2, passenger/cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1 foreign-owned: 1 (Nigeria 1) registered in other countries: 106 (Antigua and Barbuda 3, Bahamas 15, Belize 2, Cyprus 20, Liberia 14, Malta 27, Norway 2, Panama 15, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Slovakia 2, Vanuatu 5)
 
Ports and Harbors: Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kolobrzeg, Szczecin, Swinoujscie, Ustka, Warsaw, Wroclaw
 
  
 POLISH PEOPLE
  Poland Facts |  Republic of Poland Information | Poland Statistics  
 
Population: 38,536,869 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 9.85 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 119.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 9.89 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: -0.05% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.25 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 3,142,811 Population Female 0-14: 2,976,363
Population Male 15-64: 13,585,306 Population Female 15-64: 13,704,763
Population Male 65+: 1,961,326 Population Female 65+: 3,166,300
 
Population 0-14: 15.90% Literacy Rate: 99.80%
Population 15-64: 70.80% Literacy rate of Males: 99.80%
Population 65+: 13.30% Literacy rate of Females: 99.70%
 
Population that is Male: 47.00 % Population that is Female: 53.00%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 74.97 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 7.22 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 70.95 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 79.23 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.10% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 14,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 100
   
Disease Risk:
 
Diseases:
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: -0.46
 
Nationality: POLISH
 
Ethnic Groups: Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7% 
 
  
Primary Language: Polish
 
Other Languages: Polish 97.8%, other and unspecified 2.2%
 
 
Primary Religion: Roman Catholic
 
Other Religions: Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3%
 
  
 POLISH MILITARY
  Poland Facts |  Republic of Poland Information | Poland Statistics  
  
Branches: Polish Armed Forces: Land Forces (includes Navy (Marynarka Wojenna, MW)), Polish Air Force (Polskie Sily Powietrzne, PSP)
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 17 years
 
Manpower Available: 19,162,344 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 15,598,637 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 3,040,610 People per year
 
Expenditures: $3,500,000,000 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 1.71
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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