Poland Country Facts

Polska
Capital city Warszawa
Surface 312,679 km²
Population 38,544,000
Road network length 415,973 km
Length of highway network 4,430 km
First highway 1936
Motorway name Highway
Traffic drives Right
License plate code PL

Poland (Polska) is a country in Central Europe. The country has 38.5 million inhabitants and the capital is Warszawa (Warsaw). The country has an area of ​​312,679 square kilometers and is therefore 7.5 times the size of the Netherlands.

Geography

Poland is located in Central Europe, south of the Baltic Sea. It has land borders with Russia (Kaliningrad oblast), Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany. The country measures a maximum of 660 kilometers from east to west and 600 kilometers from north to south. Much of Poland is formed by the European lowlands and is flat to slightly sloping. The southeast is often more hilly, with low mountains on the border with the Czech Republic (Karkonosze) and high mountains on the border with Slovakia (Tatry). There are 70 mountain peaks over 2,000 meters high, of which the Rysy is the highest at 2,499 meters.

Poland has a fair amount of afforestation, although the forests are not dominant everywhere, the large forest areas are frequently interrupted by open areas. There is a lot of open pastureland with agriculture in Central and Eastern Poland in particular. The west and north have more afforestation. Poland’s main river is the Wisła, which flows through Poland from south to north. The Odra (Oder) flows through western Poland. The Nysa (Neisse) together with the Odra form the largest part of the border with Germany. The Warta is an important branch of the Odra. In eastern Poland, the Bug River is important, which partly forms the border with Belarus and Ukraine. The Bug is a tributary of the Wisła, as well as the San and Narew.

Poland has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters, especially in the (north) east. There is some influence from the Atlantic Ocean. Poland has somewhat warmer summers and colder winters than in the Netherlands. Temperatures around -20 °C are no exception. The amount of precipitation in Poland is quite low, about 600 mm per year.

Economy

Poland has scrambled to become a strong economy since the fall of communism, especially since joining the European Union in 2004. It was the only EU country not to fall into recession after 2008. In the period 2009-2013, the export from the Netherlands to Poland increased by more than 55%. Poland has a strong internal market and a large middle class. The Polish economy is the sixth largest in the EU. The countryside is somewhat underdeveloped, but the differences are significantly smaller than compared to Bulgaria or Romania. In 2013, the average income was PLN 3,840 per month (approximately €915), but it should be noted that almost 70% of Poles do not pay a mortgage or rent, but own their house. In Poland you pay with the złoty (PLN). In the long term, it is planned to adopt the euro.

Demographics

Poland has more than 38 million inhabitants and is by far the largest country in Central Europe in terms of surface area and population. A large majority of 61.5% of the population lives in cities, although there is some de-urbanisation, mainly due to low birth rates in urban areas. Poland is ethnically a homogeneous country, there are few immigrants and also few minorities. The Roma (Polska Roma) are a much smaller group in Poland than in other eastern and southern EU countries.

History

Before the Second World War, Poland’s borders shifted several times, with the entire country eventually shifting from east to west. Western Poland used to belong to Germany, and western Ukraine and Belarusbelonged to Poland at the time. Poland is one of the hardest hit countries in World War II. In 1939 Poland was occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union. Finally, the Germans advanced to the east and Poland was liberated by the Red Army in 1944-1945. The devastation was immense, with some 6 million Polish dead and a largely destroyed economy, infrastructure and cities. After 1945 Poland became communist and belonged to the Eastern Bloc, under the influence of the Soviet Union. Poland was the first Eastern Bloc country to experience democratic change during the 1980s. Poland was the first country in the post-Communist era to regain its pre-1989 economic size. The country has been modernizing at a rapid pace since 2000.

Big cities

Województwa (voivodeships) of Poland.

Name Population
Warszawa 1,717,000
Krakow 756,000
ódź 742,000
Wroclaw 633,000
Poznan 556,000
Gdansk 456,000
Szczecin 406,000
Bydgoszcze 358,000
Lublin 350,000
Katowice 309,000
Bialystok 294,000
Gdynia 249,000
Częstochowa 240,000
Radom 224,000
sosnowiec 220,000
Toruń 206,000
Kielce 205,000
Wojewodztwa in Poland
Dolnośląskie • Kujawsko-Pomorskie • Lubelskie • Lubuskie • Łódzkie • Małopolskie • Mazowieckie • Opolskie • Podkarpackie • Podlaskie • Pomorskie • Śląskie • Świętokrzyskie • Warmińsko- Mazowieckie • Wieliskokopolsoursom •

 

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