Poland

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

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 became a Soviet satellite state following World War II. Free elections in 1989 and 1990 brought the communist era to a close.

Geography

Area

total: 312,685 sq km

land: 304,255 sq km

water: 8,430 sq km

Climate

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

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

38,093,101 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

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

Religions

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.)

Population growth rate

-0.26% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Warsaw

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 (since 16 November 2015), Jacek SASIN (since 15 November 2019), Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI (6 October 2020) and Henryk KOWALCZYK (26 October 2021)

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 statutory - current 459; 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)

Economy

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)

$1,223,460,000,000 (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$32,200 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$333.54 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 27%, Czechia 6%, United Kingdom 6%, France 6%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, seats, furniture, computers, video displays (2019)

Imports

$292.44 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 25%, China 10%, Italy 5%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, crude petroleum,  packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, office machinery/parts (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022