About Poland

Living in Europe | Access to the culture of the host country/language courses | Poland
 

The Republic of Poland is situated in the heart of Europe, between the Carpathian Mountains and the Baltic Sea. It borders Sweden (sea border) and the Kaliningrad District of the Russian Federation to the north; Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine to the east; Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the south; and Germany to the west. A point near Warsaw is the geometrical centre of Europe. The capital of Poland is Warsaw. The official language is Polish. Poland’s currency is the złoty (PLN).

Poland is a young parliamentary democracy. It rejoined the international community as a full and independent partner following political changes in 1989. It acceded to NATO in 1999 and to the European Union in 2004, and has become a committed member of other international organisations such as UN, OECD or WTO.

In accordance with a three-tier administrative system, the territory of the Republic of Poland is subdivided into 16 voivodships, 314 counties and 2,478 communes.

 

Civil students of the Polish Naval Academy, author: Krzysztof Miłosz

In terms of population size, Poland is the largest of the countries which joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. With its population of more than 38.5 million, Poland ranks 6th in Europe and 37th in the world in terms of population size. Polish society is one of the youngest in Europe, with about 39% of Poles under 25 years of age. In terms of nationalities, contemporary Poland is a very homogenous society; national minorities account for about 1% of the total population (as compared to 31% in 1931), the largest ones being Germans, Belarusians and Ukrainians.

 

AGH University of Science and Technology, author: KSAF AGH

According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland (Główny Urząd Statystyczny – GUS), the population of Poland is decreasing and is likely to reach ca 33 million in 2050. The descent results from such factors as low birth rate, high emigration and a systematic extension of life expectancy which also lead to irreversible changes in the population structure.