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Introduction Poland
Background: Poland is an ancient nation that was
conceived around the middle of the
10th century. It's golden age
occurred in the 16th century. During
the following century, the
strengthening of the gentry and
internal disorders weakened the
nation, until an agreement in 1772
between Russia, Prussia, and Austria
partitioned Poland. 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 country following
the war, but one that 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, boosting hopes
for acceptance to the EU. Poland
joined the NATO alliance in 1999.

Geography Poland
Location: Central Europe, east of Germany
Geographic coordinates: 52 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 312,685 sq km
water: 8,220 sq km
land: 304,465 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Mexico
Land boundaries: total: 2,788 km
border countries: Belarus 407 km,
Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456
km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia
(Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km,
Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 526 km
Coastline: 491 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: defined by
international treaties
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: temperate with cold, cloudy,
moderately severe winters with
frequent precipitation; mild summers
with frequent showers and
Terrain: mostly flat plain; mountains along
southern border
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Raczki Elblaskie -2 m
highest point: Rysy 2,499 m
Natural resources: coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas,
silver, lead, salt, arable land
Land use: arable land: 45.81%
permanent crops: 1.23%
other: 52.96% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: flooding
Environment - current issues: situation has improved since 1989
due to decline in heavy industry and
increased environmental concern by
postcommunist governments; air
pollution nonetheless remains
serious because of sulfur dioxide
emissions from coal-fired power
plants, and the resulting acid rain
has caused forest damage; water
pollution from industrial and
municipal sources is also a problem,
as is disposal of hazardous wastes
Environment - international party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-
agreements: Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-
Marine Living Resources, Antarctic
Seals, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change,
Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea,
Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air
Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic
Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur
94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: historically, an area of conflict
because of flat terrain and the lack
of natural barriers on the North
European Plain

People Poland
Population: 38,625,478 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.9% (male 3,535,701;
female 3,361,515)
15-64 years: 69.5% (male 13,358,128;
female 13,500,443)
65 years and over: 12.6% (male
1,860,274; female 3,009,417) (2002
Population growth rate: -0.02% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 10.29 births/1,000 population (2002
Death rate: 9.97 deaths/1,000 population (2002
Net migration rate: -0.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/
total population: 0.94 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 9.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.66 years
female: 78.05 years (2002 est.)
male: 69.52 years
Total fertility rate: 1.37 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.07% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Pole(s)
adjective: Polish
Ethnic groups: Polish 97.6%, German 1.3%, Ukrainian
0.6%, Belarusian 0.5% (1990 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 95% (about 75%
practicing), Eastern Orthodox,
Protestant, and other 5%
Languages: Polish
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1978 est.)

Government Poland
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of
conventional short form: Poland
local short form: Polska
local long form: Rzeczpospolita
Government type: republic
Capital: Warsaw
Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular
- wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie,
Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie,
Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie,
Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie,
Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie,
Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie,
Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie
Independence: 11 November 1918 (independent
republic proclaimed)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Constitution: 16 October 1997; adopted by the
National Assembly 2 April 1997;
passed by national referendum 23 May
Legal system: mixture of Continental (Napoleonic)
civil law and holdover Communist
legal theory; changes being
gradually introduced as part of
broader democratization process;
limited judicial review of
legislative acts although under the
new constitution, the Constitutional
Tribunal ruling will become final as
of October 1999; court decisions can
be appealed to the European Court of
Justice in Strasbourg
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Aleksander
KWASNIEWSKI (since 23 December 1995)

elections: president elected by
popular vote for a five-year term;
election last held 8 October 2000
(next to be held NA October 2005);
prime minister and deputy prime
ministers appointed by the president
and confirmed by the Sejm
head of government: Prime Minister
Leszek MILLER (SLD) (since 19
October 2001), Deputy Prime
Ministers Marek POL (since 19
October 2001), Jaroslaw KALINOWSKI
(since 19 October 2001), Grzegorz
KOLODKO (since 8 July 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
responsible to the prime minister
and the Sejm; the prime minister
proposes, the president appoints,
and the Sejm approves the Council of
election results: Aleksander
KWASNIEWSKI reelected president;
percent of popular vote - Aleksander
17.3%, Marian KRZAKLEWSKI 15.6%,
Lech WALESA 1%
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or
Zgromadzenie Narodowe consists of
the Sejm (460 seats; members are
elected under a complex system of
proportional representation to serve
four-year terms) and the Senate or
Senat (100 seats; members are
elected by a majority vote on a
provincial basis to serve four-year
elections: Sejm elections last held
23 September 2001 (next to be held
by September 2005); Senate - last
held 23 September 2001 (next to be
held by September 2005)
election results: Sejm - percent of
vote by party - SLD-UP 41%, PO
12.7%, Samoobrona 10.2%, PiS 9.5%,
PSL 9%, LPR 7.9%, AWSP 5.6% UW 3.1%,
other 1%; seats by party - SLD-UP
216, PO 65, Samoobrona 53, PiS 44,
PSL 42, LPR 38, German minorities 2;
note - SLD-UP has split: SLD has 200
deputies and UP has 16; Senate -
percent of vote by party - NA%;
seats by party - SLD-UP 75, AWSP (an
electoral alliance of some 36
parties) 15, PSL 4, Samoobrona 2,
LPR 2, independents 2
note: two seats are assigned to
ethnic minority parties
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed
by the president on the
recommendation of the National
Council of the Judiciary for an
indefinite period); Constitutional
Tribunal (judges are chosen by the
Sejm for nine-year terms)
Political parties and leaders: Citizens Platform or PO [Maciej
PLAZYNSKI]; Democratic Left Alliance
or SLD (Social Democracy of Poland)
[Leszek MILLER]; Freedom Union or UW
[Wladyslaw FRASYNIUK]; German
Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO
[Henryk KROLL]; Law and Justice or
PiS [Lech KACZYNSKI]; League of
Polish Families or LPR [Marek
KOTLINOWSKI]; Polish Accord or PP
[Jan LOPUSZANSKI]; Polish Peasant
Party or PSL [Jaroslaw KALINOWSKI];
Samoobrona [Andrzej LEPPER];
Solidarity Electoral Action of the
Right or AWSP [Marian KRZAKLEWSKI];
Social Movement-Solidarity Electoral
Action or RS-AWS [Jerzy BUZEK];
Union of Labor or UP [Marek POL]
Political pressure groups and All Poland Trade Union Alliance or
leaders: OPZZ (trade union); Roman Catholic
Church; Solidarity (trade union)
International organization ACCT (observer), Australia Group,
participation: BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CCC, CE,
(applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
(observer), IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO,
IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO,
NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD,
(associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador
chancery: 2640 16th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los
Angeles, and New York
telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800
through 3802
Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador
US: Christopher R. HILL
embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-
540, Warsaw P1
mailing address: American Embassy
Warsaw, US Department of State,
Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)
telephone: [48] (22) 628-30-41
FAX: [48] (22) 628-82-98
consulate(s) general: Krakow
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of white
(top) and red; similar to the flags
of Indonesia and Monaco which are
red (top) and white

Economy Poland
Economy - overview: Poland has steadfastly pursued a
policy of liberalizing the economy
and today stands out as one of the
most successful and open transition
economies. GDP growth had been
strong and steady in 1993-2000 but
fell back in 2001 with slowdowns in
domestic investment and consumption
and the weakening in the global
economy. The privatization of small
and medium state-owned companies and
a liberal law on establishing new
firms have allowed for the rapid
development of a vibrant private
sector. In contrast, Poland's large
agricultural sector remains
handicapped by structural problems,
surplus labor, inefficient small
farms, and lack of investment.
Restructuring and privatization of
"sensitive sectors" (e.g., coal,
steel, railroads, and energy) has
begun. Structural reforms in health
care, education, the pension system,
and state administration have
resulted in larger than expected
fiscal pressures. Further progress
in public finance depends mainly on
privatization of Poland's remaining
state sector. The government's
determination to enter the EU as
soon as possible affects most
aspects of its economic policies.
Improving Poland's outsized current
account deficit and reining in
inflation are priorities. Warsaw
leads the region in foreign
investment and needs a continued
large inflow.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $339.6
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,800
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4%
industry: 32%
services: 64% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 18.4% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 3.2%
percentage share: highest 10%: 24.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini 32.7 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.3% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 17.6 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: industry 22.1%, agriculture 27.5%,
services 50.4% (1999)
Unemployment rate: 16.7% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $49.6 billion
expenditures: $52.3 billion,
including capital expenditures of
$NA (1999)
Industries: machine building, iron and steel,
coal mining, chemicals,
shipbuilding, food processing,
glass, beverages, textiles
Industrial production growth rate: 4.3% (1999)
Electricity - production: 135.161 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 98.1%
hydro: 1.54%
other: 0.36% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 119.327 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 9.663 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 3.29 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat;
poultry, eggs, pork
Exports: $30.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment
30.2%, intermediate manufactured
goods 25.5%, miscellaneous
manufactured goods 20.9%, food and
live animals 8.5% (1999)
Exports - partners: Germany 34.9%, Italy 6.3%, France
5.2%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 4.5%,
Czech Republic 3.8% (2000)
Imports: $41.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment
38.2%, intermediate manufactured
goods 20.8%, chemicals 14.3%,
miscellaneous manufactured goods
9.5% (1999)
Imports - partners: Germany 23.9%, Russia 9.4%, Italy
8.3%, France 6.4%, UK 4.5%, US 4.4%
Debt - external: $57 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Currency: zloty (PLN)
Currency code: PLN
Exchange rates: zlotych per US dollar - 4.0144
(December 2001), 4.0939 (2001),
4.3461 (2000), 3.9671 (1999), 3.4754
(1998), 3.2793 (1997)
note: zlotych is the plural form of
Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications Poland
Telephones - main lines in use: 8.07 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.78 million (1998)
Telephone system: general assessment: underdeveloped
and outmoded system; government
aimed to have 10 million telephones
in service by 2000; the process of
partial privatization of the state-
owned telephone monopoly has begun;
in 1998 there were over 2 million
applicants on the waiting list for
telephone service
domestic: cable, open wire, and
microwave radio relay; 3 cellular
networks; local exchanges 56.6%
international: satellite earth
stations - 2 Intelsat, NA Eutelsat,
2 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian
Ocean regions), and 1 Intersputnik
(Atlantic Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 14, FM 777, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 20.2 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 179 (plus 256 repeaters) (September
Televisions: 13.05 million (1997)
Internet country code: .pl
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 19 (2000)
Internet users: 3.5 million (2001)

Transportation Poland
Railways: total: 23,420 km
broad gauge: 646 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 21,639 km 1.435-
m gauge (11,626 km electrified;
8,978 km double-tracked)
narrow gauge: 1,135 km various
gauges including 1.000-m, 0.785-m,
0.750-m, and 0.600-m (2001)
Highways: total: 381,046 km
paved: 249,966 km (including 268 km
of expressways)
unpaved: 131,080 km (1998)
Waterways: 3,812 km (navigable rivers and
canals) (1996)
Pipelines: crude oil and petroleum products
2,280 km; natural gas 17,000 km
Ports and harbors: Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kolobrzeg,
Szczecin, Swinoujscie, Ustka,
Warsaw, Wroclaw
Merchant marine: total: 19 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
totaling 382,518 GRT/641,657 DWT
ships by type: bulk 14, cargo 3,
chemical tanker 1, roll on/roll off
1 (2002 est.)
Airports: 122 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 83
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 3 (2001)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 42
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 39
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
under 914 m: 21 (2001)
914 to 1,523 m: 13
Heliports: 3 (2001)

Military Poland
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense
Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 10,415,598 (2002
Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 8,120,098 (2002
service: est.)
Military manpower - reaching males: 344,781 (2002 est.)
military age annually:
Military expenditures - dollar $3.5 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of 1.71% (2002)

Transnational Issues Poland
Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: major illicit producer of
amphetamine for the international
market; minor transshipment point
for Asian and Latin American illicit
drugs to Western Europe
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