Dialing code +48
ISO 2 code PL
ISO 3 code POL
Capital Warsaw
Main Language Polish
Currency Zloty (PLN)
GDP $667.4 billion 20th
Population 38,500,000 33rd


Continent Europe
Location Central Europe east of Germany
Land 312,685 km2 70th
Terrain Mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Climate Temperate with cold cloudy moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers
Natural Hazards Mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Note: Historically an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain

Neighbouring Countries

Belarus Czech Republic Germany Lithuania Russia Slovakia Ukraine


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.
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Life Expectancy 75.63 years 66th
Median Age 37.9 years 42nd
Birth Rate 10.04 births/1,000 population 180th
Death Rate 10.05 births/1,000 population 60th
Sex Ratio 0.62 male(s)/female 190th
Literacy 99.8% 10th

38.5 million


Roadways 423997 km 14th
Railways 22314 km 11th
Airports 126 45th
Waterways 3997 km 27th
Heliports 7 25th
Airports paved 4 35th


Currency Zloty (PLN)
GDP $667.4 billion 20th
GDP per capita (PPP) $17300 63rd