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Poland
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 10/2015


Republic of Poland
Rzeczpospolita Polska

Capital and largest city
Warsaw
52°13′N 21°02′E

Official language
Polish

Regional language
• Kashubian

Ethnic groups (2011):
93.52% Polish
1.09% Silesian
0.13% German
0.10% Belarusian
0.09% Ukrainian
0.04% Kashubian
0.03% Romani
0.02% Lemko
4.86% other
        
Demonym
• Polish Pole

Government
• Parliamentary republic
President
• Prime Minister

Legislature
National Assembly

Upper house
Senate

Lower house
Sejm

Formation:

Christianization
14 April 966 
 
Kingdom of Poland
18 April 1025 
 
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
1 July 1569 
 
Partition of Poland
24 October 1795 
 
Duchy of Warsaw
22 July 1807 
 
Congress Poland
9 June 1815 
 
Reconstitution of Poland
11 November 1918 
 
Invasion of Poland, World War II
1 September 1939 
 
Communist Poland
8 April 1945 
 
Republic of Poland
13 September 1989 
 
Joined the European Union
1 May 2004 


Area
• Total: 312,679 km2 (71st) - 120,696.41 sq mi
• Water (%): 3.07

Population: 30 June 2014 estimate
• 38,483,957 (34th)
2011 census
• 38,511,824 (34th)

Density: 123/km2 (83rd) - 319.9/sq mi

GDP (PPP): 2015 estimate
• Total: $1.004 trillion (21st)
• Per capita: $26,402 (49th)

Currency: Złoty (PLN)

Time zone: 
CET (UTC+1) 
Summer (DST)
CEST (UTC+2)

Drives on the
right

Calling code: 48
ISO 3166 code: PL
Internet TLD: .pl


Poland (Polish: Polska), officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania to the north. 

The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres (120,726 sq mi), making it the 71st largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. 

With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the sixth most populous member of the European Union, and the most populous post-communist member of the European Union. 

Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions.

The establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. 

The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin. 

This union formed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th-century Europe.

The Commonwealth ceased to exist in the years 1772-1795, when its territory was partitioned among Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. 

Poland regained its independence (as the Second Polish Republic) at the end of World War I, in 1918.

In September 1939, World War II started with the invasions of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). 

More than six million Polish citizens died in the war.

In 1944, a Soviet-backed Polish provisional government was formed which, after a falsified referendum in 1947 took control of the country and Poland became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, as People's Republic of Poland. 

During the Revolutions of 1989, Poland's Communist government was overthrown and Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy.

Despite the vast casualties and destruction the country experienced during World War II, Poland managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth. 

There are 14 heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage and 54 Historical Monuments and many objects of cultural heritage in Poland. 

Since the end of the communist period, Poland has achieved a "very high" ranking in terms of human development, as well as gradually improving economic freedom.

Poland is the sixth largest economy in the European Union and among the fastest rising economic states in the world. 

The country is the sole member nation of the European Union to have escaped a decline in GDP and in recent years was able to create probably the most varied GDP growth in its history.

Furthermore, according to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is one of the safest countries in the world to live in.