Nation at a Glance - Poland

History

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, 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 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.

Location: Central Europe, east of Germany

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

Total Area: 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

Terrain: Mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border

Natural resources: Coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land

Land use: Agricultural land: 48.2% arable land 36.2%; permanent crops 1.3%; permanent pasture 10.7% Forest: 30.6% Other: 21.2% (2011 est.)

Ethnic groups: Polish 96.9%, Silesian 1.1%, German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.1%, Other and unspecified 1.7%

Languages: Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, Other 1.1%, Unspecified 1.3%

Religions: Catholic 87.2% (includes Roman Catholic 86.9% 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 10.8% (2012 est.)

Population: 38,523,261 (July 2016 est.)

Literacy: 99.8%; Male: 99.9%; Female: 99.7% (2015 est.)

Administrative divisions: 16 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)

Economy: 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.

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

Career Scope in Print Media

Print media are lightweight, portable, disposable publications printed on paper and circulated as physical copies in forms we call books, newspapers, magazines and newsletters. They hold informative and entertaining content that is of general or special interest. They are published either once or da →

United Nations Organization (UNO)

History of United Nation The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942. In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organiza →

What is Bitcoin?

In 2009, an unknown programmer by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto put forward a whitepaper that proposed a creation of new form of digital currency - cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency functions the same way as regular currencies do in that its used as a means of exchange, unit of account and a store of va →

Medical Council of India (MCI)

Headquarter: New Delhi Function of the Organization: The Medical Council of India was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications →

  • Contribute to our Site

    If you contribute your content to our site. Please mail us your content to editor@onlinegk.com

Follow us on Social Media

Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Google Plus
Follow us on Twitter