Photos of Poland

Introduction

Background

Poland's history as a state began near the middle of the 10th century. By the mid-16th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled a vast tract of land in Central and Eastern Europe. During the 18th century, internal disorders weakened the nation, and in a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland among 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. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force with over 10 million members. Free elections in 1989 and 1990 won Solidarity control of the parliament and the presidency, bringing the communist era to a close. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed and with large investments in defense, energy, and other infrastructure, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Central Europe, east of Germany

Geographic coordinates

52 00 N, 20 00 E

Area

total: 312,685 sq km

land: 304,255 sq km

water: 8,430 sq km

country comparison to the world: 71

Area - comparative

about twice the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than New Mexico

Land boundaries

total: 3,071 km

border countries (7): Belarus 418 km, Czech Republic 796 km, Germany 467 km, Lithuania 104 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Slovakia 541 km, Ukraine 535 km

Coastline

440 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties

Climate

temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers

Terrain

mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border

Elevation

mean elevation: 173 m

lowest point: near Raczki Elblaskie -2 m

highest point: Rysy 2,499 m

Natural resources

coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 48.2% (2011 est.)

arable land: 36.2% (2011 est.)

permanent crops: 1.3% (2011 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2011 est.)

forest: 30.6% (2011 est.)

other: 21.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

970 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

population concentrated in the southern area around Krakow and the central area around Warsaw and Lodz, with an extension to the northern coastal city of Gdansk

Environment - current issues

decreased emphasis on heavy industry and increased environmental concern by post-communist governments has improved environment; air pollution remains serious because of emissions from burning low-quality coals in homes and from coal-fired power plants; the resulting acid rain causes forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes

Environment - international 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, 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

Geography - note

historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Pole(s)

adjective: Polish

Ethnic groups

Polish 96.9%, Silesian 1.1%, German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 1.7% (2011 est.)

note: represents ethnicity declared first

Languages

Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.3% (2011 est.)

note: data represents the language spoken at home; shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census; Poland ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2009 recognizing Kashub as a regional language, Czech, Hebrew, Yiddish, Belarusian, Lithuanian, German, Armenian, Russian, Slovak, and Ukrainian as national minority languages, and Karaim, Lemko, Romani (Polska Roma and Bergitka Roma), and Tatar as ethnic minority languages

Religions

Catholic 85.9% (includes Roman Catholic 85.6% and Greek Catholic, Armenian Catholic, and Byzantine-Slavic Catholic .3%), Orthodox 1.3% (almost all are Polish Autocephalous Orthodox), Protestant 0.4% (mainly Augsburg Evangelical and Pentacostal), other 0.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon), unspecified 12.1% (2017 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.83% (male 2,918,518/female 2,756,968)

15-24 years: 9.8% (male 1,928,637/female 1,823,894)

25-54 years: 43.33% (male 8,384,017/female 8,203,646)

55-64 years: 13.32% (male 2,424,638/female 2,675,351)

65 years and over: 18.72% (male 2,867,315/female 4,299,341) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 51.4

youth dependency ratio: 23

elderly dependency ratio: 28.4

potential support ratio: 3.5 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 41.9 years

male: 40.3 years

female: 43.6 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Birth rate

8.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 205

Death rate

10.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Net migration rate

-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 119

Population distribution

population concentrated in the southern area around Krakow and the central area around Warsaw and Lodz, with an extension to the northern coastal city of Gdansk

Urbanization

urban population: 60% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: -0.25% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.783 million WARSAW (capital), 769,000 Krakow (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

27.8 years (2017 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

2 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.3 years

male: 74.5 years

female: 82.3 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 69

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.38 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

6.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.7% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.3% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.2% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2016)

vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2016)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.9%

female: 99.7% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 17 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 11.7%

male: 11.5%

female: 12.1% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 112

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Poland

conventional short form: Poland

local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska

local short form: Polska

former: Polish People's Republic

etymology: name derives from the Polanians, a west Slavic tribe that united several surrounding Slavic groups (9th-10th centuries A.D.) and who passed on their name to the country; the name of the tribe likely comes from the Slavic "pole" (field or plain), indicating the flat nature of their country

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Warsaw

geographic coordinates: 52 15 N, 21 00 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: the origin of the name is unknown; the Polish designation "Warszawa" was the name of a fishing village and several legends/traditions link the city's founding to a man named Wars or Warsz

Administrative divisions

16 voivodships [provinces] (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie (Lower Silesia), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (Kuyavia-Pomerania), Lodzkie (Lodz), Lubelskie (Lublin), Lubuskie (Lubusz), Malopolskie (Lesser Poland), Mazowieckie (Masovia), Opolskie (Opole), Podkarpackie (Subcarpathia), Podlaskie, Pomorskie (Pomerania), Slaskie (Silesia), Swietokrzyskie (Holy Cross), Warminsko-Mazurskie (Warmia-Masuria), Wielkopolskie (Greater Poland), Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomerania)

Independence

11 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 14 April 966 (adoption of Christianity, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted 2 April 1997, approved by referendum 25 May 1997, effective 17 October 1997

amendments: proposed by at least one fifth of Sejm deputies, by the Senate, or by the president of the republic; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Sejm and absolute majority vote in the Senate; amendments to articles relating to sovereignty, personal freedoms, and constitutional amendment procedures also require passage by majority vote in a referendum; amended 2006, 2009

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislative, administrative, and other governmental acts; constitutional law rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Poland

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state:  President Andrzej DUDA (since 6 August 2015)

head of government: Prime Minister Mateusz MORAWIECKI (since 11 December 2017); Deputy Prime Ministers Piotr GLINSKI and Jaroslaw GOWIN (since 16 November 2015), Jacek SASIN (since 4 June 2019)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president, and approved by the Sejm

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 June 2020 with a second round on 12 July 2020 (next to be held in 2025); prime minister, deputy prime ministers, and Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm

election results: Andrzej DUDA reelected president in runoff; percent of vote - Andrzej DUDA (independent) 51%, Rafal TRZASKOWSKI (KO) 49%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral legislature consists of:
Senate or Senat (100 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
Sejm (460 seats; members elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote with 5% threshold of total votes needed for parties and 8% for coalitions to gain seats; minorities exempt from threshold; members serve 4-year terms)

elections:
Senate - last held on 13 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2023)
Sejm - last held on 13 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2023)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PiS 48, KO 43, PSL 3, SLD 2, independent 4; composition - men 87, women 13, percent of women 13%
Sejm - percent of vote by party - PiS 43.6%, KO 27.4%, SLD 12.6%, PSL 8.5% Confederation 6.8%, other 1.1%; seats by party - PiS 235, KO 134, SLD 49, PSL 30, KWiN 11, MN 1; men 334, women 126, percent of women 27.4%; note - total legislature percent of women 24.8%

note: the designation National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the 2 houses meet jointly

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Sad Najwyzszy (consists of the first president of the Supreme Court and 120 justices organized in criminal, civil, labor and social insurance, and extraordinary appeals and public affairs and disciplinary chambers); Constitutional Tribunal (consists of 15 judges, including the court president and vice president)

judge selection and term of office: president of the Supreme Court nominated by the General Assembly of the Supreme Court and selected by the president of Poland; other judges nominated by the 25-member National Judicial Council and appointed by the president of Poland; judges serve until retirement, usually at age 65, but tenure can be extended; Constitutional Tribunal judges chosen by the Sejm for 9-year terms

subordinate courts: administrative courts; military courts; local, regional and appellate courts subdivided into military, civil, criminal, labor, and family courts

Political parties and leaders

Civic Coalition or KO [Grzegorz SCHETYNA]
Confederation Liberty and Independence or KWiN [Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE, Robert WINNICKI, Grzegorz BRAUN]
Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Wlodzimierz CZARZASTY]
German Minority or MN [Ryszard GALLA]
Kukiz 15 or K15 [Pawel KUKIZ]
Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI]
TERAZ! (NOW!) [Ryszard PETRU]
Nowoczesna (Modern) or N [Katarzyna LUBNAUER]
Polish People's Party or PSL [Wladyslaw KOSINIAK-KAMYSZ]
Razem (Together) [collective leadership]
Wiosna (Spring) [Robert BIEDRON]

International organization participation

Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Piotr Antoni WILCZEK (since 18 January 2017)

chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 499-1700

FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Georgette MOSBACHER (since 6 September 2018) 

telephone: [48] (22) 504-2000

embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540 Warsaw

mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)

FAX: [48] (22) 504-2226

consulate(s) general: Krakow

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; colors derive from the Polish emblem - a white eagle on a red field

note: similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white

National symbol(s)

white crowned eagle; national colors: white, red

National anthem

name: "Mazurek Dabrowskiego" (Dabrowski's Mazurka)

lyrics/music: Jozef WYBICKI/traditional

note: adopted 1927; the anthem, commonly known as "Jeszcze Polska nie zginela" (Poland Has Not Yet Perished), was written in 1797; the lyrics resonate strongly with Poles because they reflect the numerous occasions in which the nation's lands have been occupied

Economy

Economic overview

Poland has the sixth-largest economy in the EU and has long had a reputation as a business-friendly country with largely sound macroeconomic policies. Since 1990, Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization. During the 2008-09 economic slowdown Poland was the only EU country to avoid a recession, in part because of the government’s loose fiscal policy combined with a commitment to rein in spending in the medium-term Poland is the largest recipient of EU development funds and their cyclical allocation can significantly impact the rate of economic growth.

The Polish economy performed well during the 2014-17 period, with the real GDP growth rate generally exceeding 3%, in part because of increases in government social spending that have helped to accelerate consumer-driven growth. However, since 2015, Poland has implemented new business restrictions and taxes on foreign-dominated economic sectors, including banking and insurance, energy, and healthcare, that have dampened investor sentiment and has increased the government’s ownership of some firms. The government reduced the retirement age in 2016 and has had mixed success in introducing new taxes and boosting tax compliance to offset the increased costs of social spending programs and relieve upward pressure on the budget deficit. Some credit ratings agencies estimate that Poland during the next few years is at risk of exceeding the EU’s 3%-of-GDP limit on budget deficits, possibly impacting its access to future EU funds. Poland’s economy is projected to perform well in the next few years in part because of an anticipated cyclical increase in the use of its EU development funds and continued, robust household spending.

Poland faces several systemic challenges, which include addressing some of the remaining deficiencies in its road and rail infrastructure, business environment, rigid labor code, commercial court system, government red tape, and burdensome tax system, especially for entrepreneurs. Additional long-term challenges include diversifying Poland’s energy mix, strengthening investments in innovation, research, and development, as well as stemming the outflow of educated young Poles to other EU member states, especially in light of a coming demographic contraction due to emigration, persistently low fertility rates, and the aging of the Solidarity-era baby boom generation.

GDP real growth rate

4.55% (2019 est.)

5.36% (2018 est.)

4.83% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 61

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.1% (2019 est.)

1.7% (2018 est.)

2% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 115

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: A- (2007)

Moody's rating: A2 (2002)

Standard & Poors rating: A- (2018)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real

$1,189,207,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,137,551,000,000 (2018 est.)

$1,079,745,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$595.72 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$18,768 (2019 est.)

$17,937 (2018 est.)

$17,011 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 77

Gross national saving

20% of GDP (2017 est.)

19.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

19.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 40.2% (2017 est.)

services: 57.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 58.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 17.7% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 17.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 54% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -49.9% (2017 est.)

Agriculture - products

potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy

Industries

machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 11.5%

industry: 30.4%

services: 57.6% (2015)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 23.9% (2015 est.)

Budget

revenues: 207.5 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 216.2 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

50.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

54.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, the data include subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

country comparison to the world: 100

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$2.92 billion (2019 est.)

-$7.52 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

Exports

$394.848 billion (2019 est.)

$375.525 billion (2018 est.)

$351.125 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Exports - partners

Germany 27.4%, Czech Republic 6.4%, UK 6.4%, France 5.6%, Italy 4.9%, Netherlands 4.4% (2017)

Exports - commodities

machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6% (2012 est.)

Imports

$364.993 billion (2019 est.)

$353.423 billion (2018 est.)

$328.919 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Imports - commodities

machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 15%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9% (2011 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 27.9%, China 8%, Russia 6.4%, Netherlands 6%, Italy 5.3%, France 4.2%, Czech Republic 4% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$113.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$114.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Debt - external

$241 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$347.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

Exchange rates

zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -

3.6684 (2020 est.)

3.8697 (2019 est.)

3.76615 (2018 est.)

3.7721 (2014 est.)

3.1538 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 6,907,937

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18.01 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 52,916,105

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 137.96 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: fixed-line service is dominated by the former state-owned company, yet it is dwarfed by the growth in mobile-cellular services; regulatory is framed by EU principles of competition; regulator measures have improved wholesale market access; rapid extension of LTE networks and development of mobile data service; mobile penetration is above European average; regulator to auction 700MHz spectrum of 5G services; good market competition (2020)

domestic: several nation-wide networks provide mobile-cellular service; coverage is generally good; fixed-line 18 per 100 service lags in rural areas, mobile-cellular 138 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 48; landing points for the Baltica and the Denmark-Poland2 submarine cables connecting Poland, Denmark and Sweden; international direct dialing with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 with access to Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik (2019)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

state-run public TV operates 2 national channels supplemented by 16 regional channels and several niche channels; privately owned entities operate several national TV networks and a number of special interest channels; many privately owned channels broadcasting locally; roughly half of all households are linked to either satellite or cable TV systems providing access to foreign television networks; state-run public radio operates 5 national networks and 17 regional radio stations; 2 privately owned national radio networks, several commercial stations broadcasting to multiple cities, and many privately owned local radio stations (2019)

Internet users

total: 29,791,401

percent of population: 77.54% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 6,114,926

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 169

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 9,277,538 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 271.49 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 87 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 5 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 30 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 36 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2017)

under 914 m: 6 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 39 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 17 (2013)

under 914 m: 21 (2013)

Heliports

6 (2013)

Pipelines

14198 km gas, 1374 km oil, 2483 km refined products (2016)

Railways

total: 19,231 km (2016)

standard gauge: 18,836 km 1.435-m gauge (11,874 km electrified) (2016)

broad gauge: 395 km 1.524-m gauge (2016)

country comparison to the world: 16

Roadways

total: 420,000 km (2016)

paved: 291,000 km (includes 1,492 km of expressways, 1,559 of motorways) (2016)

unpaved: 129,000 km (2016)

country comparison to the world: 17

Waterways

3,997 km (navigable rivers and canals) (2009)

country comparison to the world: 27

Merchant marine

total: 144

by type: general cargo 12, oil tanker 7, other 125 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 73

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Gdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie

container port(s) (TEUs): Gdansk (1,593,761) (2017)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Swinoujscie

river port(s): Szczecin (River Oder)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Polish Armed Forces: Land Forces (Wojska Ladowe), Navy (Marynarka Wojenna), Air Force (Sily Powietrzne), Special Forces (Wojska Specjalne), Territorial Defense Force (Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej); Ministry of the Interior: Border Guard (includes coast guard duties) (2019)

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2019 est.)

2.02% of GDP (2018)

1.89% of GDP (2017)

1.99% of GDP (2016)

2.22% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 52

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Polish Armed Forces have approximately 105,000 total active duty personnel (60,000 Army; 7,000 Navy; 17,000 Air Force; 3,500 Special Forces; 3,000 Territorial Defense Forces; 14,000 other); approximately 20,000 total Territorial Defense Forces including reservists (2019 est.)

note - in June 2019, the Polish Government approved a plan to increase the size of the military by 50,000 troops over the coming decade

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Polish Armed Forces consists of a mix of Soviet-era and more modern Western weapons systems; since 2010, the leading suppliers of armaments to Poland are Finland, Germany, Italy, and the US (2019 est.)

Military deployments

360 Afghanistan (NATO); 230 Kosovo (NATO); up to 200 Latvia (NATO); 220 Lebanon (UNIFIL); contributes about 3,500 troops to the Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine joint military brigade (LITPOLUKRBRIG), which was established in 2014; the brigade is headquartered in Warsaw and is comprised of an international staff, three battalions, and specialized units (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; professional soldiers serve on a permanent basis (for an unspecified period of time) or on a contract basis (for a specified period of time); initial contract period is 24 months; women serve in the military on the same terms as men (2019)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its eastern borders with Belarus and Ukraine

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 9,870 (Russia) (2019)

stateless persons: 1,328 (2019)

Illicit drugs

despite diligent counternarcotics measures and international information sharing on cross-border crimes, a major illicit producer of synthetic drugs for the international market; minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe