Photos of Poland

The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw is the tallest building in Poland; it was built between 1952 and 1955 as a gift to Poland by the Soviet Union. For decades the building was hated by the Poles, who considered it a symbol of Soviet domination. Since the fall of the Soviet Bloc, however, the structure's negative symbolism has diminished. The building currently serves as an exhibition center and office complex



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.

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



Central Europe, east of Germany

Geographic coordinates

52 00 N, 20 00 E


total: 312,685 sq km

land: 304,255 sq km

water: 8,430 sq km

comparison ranking: total 71

Area - comparative

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

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 2,865 km

border countries (6): Belarus 375 km; Czechia 699 km; Germany 467 km; Lithuania 100 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 209 km; Slovakia 517 km; Ukraine 498 km


440 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties


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


mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border


highest point: Rysy 2,499 m

lowest point: near Raczki Elblaskie -2 m

mean elevation: 173 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

agricultural land: 48.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 36.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 30.6% (2018 est.)

other: 21.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

760 sq km (2013)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Zalew Szczecinski/Stettiner Haff (shared with Germany) - 900 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Wisla (Vistula) river source and mouth (shared with Belarus and Ukraine) - 1,213 km
note - longest river in Poland

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

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

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


37,991,766 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 39


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


Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.2%; note - data represent 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 (2011 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Księga Faktów Świata, niezbędne źródło podstawowych informacji. (Polish)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Polish audio sample:


Catholic 85% (includes Roman Catholic 84.8% and other Catholic 0.3%), Orthodox 1.3% (almost all are Polish Autocephalous Orthodox), Protestant 0.4% (mainly Augsburg Evangelical and Pentecostal), other 0.3% (includes Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Muslim, Jewish, Church of Jesus Christ), unspecified 12.9% (2020 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.53% (male 2,839,788/female 2,680,401)

15-64 years: 64.87% (male 12,364,282/female 12,280,814)

65 years and over: 20.6% (2023 est.) (male 3,171,838/female 4,654,643)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 51.4

youth dependency ratio: 23.4

elderly dependency ratio: 28.6

potential support ratio: 3.5 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 42.4 years (2023 est.)

male: 41.1 years

female: 43.7 years

comparison ranking: total 40

Population growth rate

-1.03% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 230

Birth rate

8.7 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 205

Death rate

12.9 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 14

Net migration rate

-6.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 210

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


urban population: 60.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: -0.16% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

1.798 million WARSAW (capital), 769,000 Krakow (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

27.9 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

2 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 184

Infant mortality rate

total: 5.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 5.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 175

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 71.7 years

female: 80 years

comparison ranking: total population 115

Total fertility rate

1.31 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 217

Gross reproduction rate

0.64 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

6.5% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

3.77 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

6.5 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

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 (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2023)

vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

23.1% (2016)

comparison ranking: 68

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 10.96 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 5.72 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.88 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 4.36 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 13

Tobacco use

total: 24% (2020 est.)

male: 27.9% (2020 est.)

female: 20.1% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 59

Education expenditures

5.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 69


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.8% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 17 years (2020)


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, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic- Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants


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

Land use

agricultural land: 48.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 36.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 30.6% (2018 est.)

other: 21.2% (2018 est.)


urban population: 60.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: -0.16% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.17% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 98

Revenue from coal

0.27% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 19

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 18.83 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 299.04 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 46.62 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 10.863 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2,866,746 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 26.4% (2015 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Zalew Szczecinski/Stettiner Haff (shared with Germany) - 900 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Wisla (Vistula) river source and mouth (shared with Belarus and Ukraine) - 1,213 km
note - longest river in Poland

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 1.96 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 5.87 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 1.39 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

60.5 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 3 (2024)

global geoparks and regional networks: Land of Extinct Volcanoes; Muskauer Faltenbogen / Łuk Mużakowa (includes Germany); Holy Cross Mountains (2024)


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


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)


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)


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 by birth: no

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

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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

head of government: Prime Minister Donald TUSK (since 11 December 2023); Deputy Prime Ministers Wladyslaw KOSINIAK-KAMYSZ, Krzysztof GAWKOWSKI (both since 11 December 2023)

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; all presidential candidates resign their party affiliation

election results:
2020: Andrzej DUDA reelected president in second round; percent of vote - Andrzej DUDA (independent) 51%, Rafal TRZASKOWSKI (KO) 49%

Andrzej DUDA elected president in second round; percent of vote - Andrzej DUDA (independent) 51.5%, Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI (independent) 48.5%


Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament 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; minority parties exempt from threshold; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 15 October 2023 (next to be held in 2027)
Sejm - last held on 15 October 2023 (next to be held in 2027)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party/coalition - United Right 34.8%, Civic Coalition 28.9%, Third Way 11.5%, The Left 5.3%, Senate Pact Independents 2.7%, independent 3%; seats by party/coalition - Civic Coalition 41, United Right 34, Third Way 11, The Left 9, Senate Pact Independents 4, independent 1

Sejm - percent of vote by party - PiS 35.4%, KO 30.7%, TD 14.4%, Lewica 8.6%, Konf 7.2%; seats by party - PiS 194, KO 157, TD 65, Lewica 26, Konf 18

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

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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 single 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

Agreement [Jaroslaw GOWIN]
Civic Platform or PO [Donald TUSK]
Konfederajca [Krzysztof BOSAK]
Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI]
New Left or NL [Wlodzimierz CZARZASTY and Robert BIEDRON]
Poland 2050 [Szymon HOLOWNIA]
Polish People's Party or PSL [Wladyslaw KOSINIAK-KAMYSZ]
Republican Party or R [Adam BIELAN]
United Poland or SP [Zbigniew ZIOBRO]

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, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Marek Grzegorz MAGIEROWSKI (since 13 January 2022)

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

telephone: [1] (202) 499-1700

FAX: [1] (202) 328-2152; [1] (202) 328-6271

email address and website:

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mark BRZEZINSKI (since 19 January 2022)

embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31, 00-540 Warsaw

mailing address: 5010 Warsaw Place, Washington, DC 20521-5010

telephone: [48] (22) 504-2000

FAX: [48] (22) 504-2088

email address and website:

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 17 (15 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Historic Krakow (c); Historic Warsaw (c); Medieval Torun (c); Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region (c); Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (c); Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines (c); Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp (c); Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians (n); Białowieza Forest (n); Old City of Zamość (c)


Economic overview

diversified, high-growth European economy; COVID-19 led to first recession in nearly 3 decades, albeit small; EU and NATO member; bolstering US relations; economic concentration in western region; aging labor force; growing debt

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.388 trillion (2022 est.)
$1.319 trillion (2021 est.)
$1.233 trillion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 19

Real GDP growth rate

5.26% (2022 est.)
6.93% (2021 est.)
-2.02% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 67

Real GDP per capita

$37,700 (2022 est.)
$34,900 (2021 est.)
$32,500 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 55

GDP (official exchange rate)

$688.125 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

14.43% (2022 est.)
5.06% (2021 est.)
3.37% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 186

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: A- (2007)

Moody's rating: A2 (2002)

Standard & Poors rating: A- (2018)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 40.2% (2017 est.)

services: 57.4% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 139; industry 30; agriculture 165

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.)

Agricultural products

milk, sugar beets, wheat, potatoes, triticale, maize, barley, apples, mixed grains, rye


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

Industrial production growth rate

7.11% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 37

Labor force

18.301 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 34

Unemployment rate

2.89% (2022 est.)
3.36% (2021 est.)
3.16% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 35

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 13.4% (2021 est.)

male: 12.3%

female: 15%

comparison ranking: total 131

Population below poverty line

11.8% (2022 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

28.8 (2019 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 157

Average household expenditures

on food: 16.7% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 5.7% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.4%

highest 10%: 23.1% (2019 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0.94% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.05% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.12% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $244.485 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $248.868 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 94

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

comparison ranking: 104

Taxes and other revenues

19.15% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 93

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$16.697 billion (2022 est.)
-$8.515 billion (2021 est.)
$14.764 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 192


$434.008 billion (2022 est.)
$392.694 billion (2021 est.)
$318.967 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 22

Exports - partners

Germany 28%, UK 6%, Czechia 6%, France 6%, Netherlands 4% (2020)

Exports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, seats, furniture, electric batteries, computers (2020)


$421.226 billion (2022 est.)
$369.82 billion (2021 est.)
$284.648 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 19

Imports - partners

Germany 25%, China 12%, Italy 5%, Netherlands 5%, Czechia 4% (2020)

Imports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, crude petroleum, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, office machinery/parts (2020)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$166.664 billion (2022 est.)
$166.03 billion (2021 est.)
$154.219 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 21

Debt - external

$351.77 billion (2019 est.)
$373.721 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 32

Exchange rates

zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
4.458 (2022 est.)
3.862 (2021 est.)
3.9 (2020 est.)
3.839 (2019 est.)
3.612 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 47.269 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 149.203 billion kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 7.357 billion kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 20.624 billion kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 9.995 billion kWh (2020 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 183; imports 10; exports 25; consumption 25; installed generating capacity 26

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 79.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 10.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 108.152 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 110.674 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 11.063 million metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 13.281 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 26.932 billion metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 28,400 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 697,700 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 6,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 542,100 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 113 million barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

554,200 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 30

Refined petroleum products - exports

104,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 43

Refined petroleum products - imports

222,300 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 32

Natural gas

production: 5.667 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 21.464 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 704.975 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 16.633 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 91.492 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

304.04 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 176.938 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 89.944 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 37.158 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 21

Energy consumption per capita

112.831 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 48


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5,277,054 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 28

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 50,588,785 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 132 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 33

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the liberalized telecom market has seen considerable development in the broadband and mobile sectors; the regulatory environment has encouraged market competition, partly by encouraging operators to secure spectrum and also by ensuring access to cable and fiber infrastructure; the mobile market in recent years has been characterized by the rapid extension of LTE and 5G networks, and the development of mobile data services based on newly released and re-farmed spectrum; the regulator’s attempts to auction spectrum in a range of bands has been delayed, with spectrum in the 5G-suitable 3.4-3.8GHz range having been put back to later in 2023 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and changes to legislation (2021)

domestic: fixed-line is 14 per 100 (service lags in rural areas), mobile-cellular is 132 per 100 persons (2021)

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)

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: 32.3 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 85% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 32

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 8,369,218 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 24


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 (2018) mt-km


288 (2024)

comparison ranking: 23


11 (2024)


14,198 km gas, 1,374 km oil, 2,483 km refined products (2018)


total: 19,461 km (2020) 11,946 km electrified

comparison ranking: total 14


total: 427,580 km (2022)

comparison ranking: total 14


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

comparison ranking: 29

Merchant marine

total: 152 (2023)

by type: general cargo 6, oil tanker 6, other 140

comparison ranking: total 75

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Gdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie

container port(s) (TEUs): Gdansk (2,117,829) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Swinoujscie

river port(s): Szczecin (River Oder)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Polish Armed Forces (Polskie Siły Zbrojne): Land Forces (Wojska Ladowe), Navy (Marynarka Wojenna), Air Force (Sily Powietrzne), Special Forces (Wojska Specjalne), Territorial Defense Forces (Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej), Cyberspace Defense Forces (Wojska Obrony Cyberprzestrzeni)

Ministry of Interior and Administration: Polish National Police (Policja); Border Guard (Straż Graniczna or SG) (2024)

Military expenditures

4.2% of GDP (2024 est.)
3.9% of GDP (2023 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2022)
2.2% of GDP (2021)
2.2% of GDP (2020)

comparison ranking: 16

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 120,000 active-duty personnel (65,000 Army; 7,000 Navy; 15,000 Air Force; 3,000 Special Forces; 30,000 joint service/other); approximately 40,000 Territorial Defense Forces (2023)

note: in June 2019, the Polish Government approved a plan to increase the size of the military over a period of 10 years to over 200,000 troops, including doubling the size of the Territorial Defense Forces; in 2021, it announced further plans to increase the size of the military to over 300,000 personnel

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory consists of a mix of some Soviet-era and a growing amount of more modern, NATO-compatible, weapons systems; in recent years, the leading suppliers of armaments have included several European countries, South Korea, and the US; Poland has a large domestic defense sector that produces or provides upgrades to a wide variety of weapons systems, particularly ground systems such as tanks and other armored vehicles; it also cooperates with the European and US defense sectors (2023)

note: in late 2018, Poland announced a 7-year (through 2026) approximately $50 billion defense modernization plan that would include such items as 5th generation combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, rocket artillery, helicopters, submarines, frigates, and improved cyber security; in 2022-2023, it signed large military weapons contracts with South Korea, the UK, and the US

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 (2023)

note 1: as of 2019, women made up about 7% of the military's full-time personnel

note 2: in May 2022, Poland announced a new 12-month voluntary military service program with recruits going through a one-month basic training period with a military unit, followed by 11 months of specialized training; upon completion of service, the volunteers would be allowed to join the Territorial Defense Forces or the active reserve, and have priority to join the professional army and be given preference for employment in the public sector; the program is part of an effort to increase the size of the Polish military

Military deployments

210 Kosovo (NATO/KFOR); up to 180 Latvia (NATO); 190 Lebanon (UNIFIL); approximately 230 Romania (NATO) (2024)

note 1: Poland has obligated about 2,500 troops to the Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine joint military brigade (LITPOLUKRBRIG), which was established in 2014; the brigade is headquartered in Poland and is comprised of an international staff, three battalions, and specialized units; units affiliated with the multinational brigade remain within the structures of the armed forces of their respective countries until the brigade is activated for participation in an international operation

Military - note

Poland’s geographic location on NATO’s eastern flank and its history of foreign invasion underpin the Polish military’s heavy focus on territorial and border defense and supporting its NATO and EU security commitments; its chief concern is Russian aggression, particularly following Moscow’s seizure of Crimea in 2014 and full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in 2022, which has led to increased defense spending and modernization efforts, as well as efforts to boost the NATO and US military presence in Poland; since 2014, Poland has been hosting several NATO military formations designed to enhance the defense of Poland and NATO’s eastern flank, including a US-led multinational NATO ground force battlegroup as part of the Alliance’s Enhanced Forward Presence initiative, NATO fighter detachments at Malbork Air Base, a NATO-led divisional headquarters (Multinational Division Northeast), which coordinates training and preparation activities of its respective subordinate battlegroups in Poland and Lithuania, and a corps-level NATO field headquarters (Multinational Corps Northeast); since 2022, the US has established a permanent corps headquarters in Poland to command US rotational forces in Europe; Poland also participates in a variety of EU and NATO military deployments in Africa, the Baltic States, Southern Europe, and the Middle East; Poland provided considerable support to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, where more than 30,000 military personnel served over a 20-year period before the mission ended in 2021

the Polish military is organized into a General Staff, an Armed Forces General Command, an Armed Forces Operational Command, Territorial Defense Forces (established 2017), Military Police, and the Warsaw Garrison Command; the Army is comprised of several armored cavalry and mechanized infantry divisions, which are complemented by independent airborne, air mobile, and aviation brigades, as well as armored reconnaissance and artillery regiments ; the active forces are backed up by the Territorial Defense Forces, which have nearly 20 light infantry brigades manned by part-time reserve personnel; the Navy is a compact force for defending Poland's territorial waters, coastline, and its interests abroad, as well as providing support to NATO missions; its principal warships are two frigates, two corvettes, three attack submarines, and a few fast-attack craft; it also has a considerable force of mine warfare vessels, as well as a naval aviation brigade focused on anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrolling; the Air Force has a mix of about 80 Soviet-era and more modern US fighter aircraft; it has more advanced US (F-35s) and South Korean (FA-50s) on order to replace its Soviet-era inventory beginning in 2024; Poland also has a joint special forces command with air, ground, and maritime components (2023)


Space agency/agencies

Polish Space Agency (POLSA; established 2014; operational in 2015); Space Research Center (SRC, interdisciplinary research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences that acted as Poland’s space agency until POLSA was established in 1977) (2023)

Space program overview

space program is integrated within the framework of the European Space Agency (ESA); builds satellites, including nano/cube remote sensing (RS) and educational/scientific/technology satellites; researches and develops communications, RS, navigational, and other scientific applications for satellite payloads; creating infrastructure for receiving, storing, processing and distributing data from meteorological and environmental satellites; researches and develops other space-related technologies, including sensors and robotic probes for interplanetary landers, and launcher systems; participates in international space programs and cooperates with a variety of foreign space agencies and industries, including those of Brazil, Canada, China, ESA/EU member states (particularly France, Germany, Italy), India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, UK, and the US; has a growing commercial space sector with more than 300 active enterprises (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 956,635 (Ukraine) (as of 15 December 2023)

stateless persons: 1,435 (2022)

Illicit drugs

a major source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics