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Area, 312,685 km²
Population, 37,976,687 h (2018)
Capital, Warszawa (Warsaw)
Languages: Polish (official), Ukrainian, German.
Ethnic composition: Poles 96.9%, Germans 0.2%, Ukrainians 0.1%, other groups (Belarusians, Lithuanians, Jews) 3.1% (2011 est.).
Religions: catholic 87.2%, orthodox 1.3%, others (protestant, Jewish) 0.8%, not specified 10.8% (est. 2011).
Literacy rate, 99.9%
Human Development Index (HDI), 0.865 (UN-2018) (33rd in the world).
Political system, semi-presidential republic.
The old part of Warzawa / Warsaw, capital of Poland.
Birth rate, 9.5 ‰
Mortality rate, 10.4 ‰
Vegetative growth, – 0.09%
Life expectancy at birth: men, 73.9 years; women, 81.8 years (est. 2017).
Agriculture: cereals, potatoes, sugar beet, vegetables, fruits, tobacco.
Livestock: swine, sheep, poultry.
Forestry: conifers (pines, firs), oaks, beech, birch, alder, poplar.
Fishing: hake, herring, cod, parrot.
Mining: coal, lignite, zinc, lead, copper, sulfur, salt, silver.
Industry: steel, machinery construction, mining, naval, automotive, textile, chemical, pharmaceutical, food, glass, tourism.
GDP per capita, $ 29,026 (2017)
Sectoral distribution of GDP:
• Agriculture, 2.4%
• Industry, 40.2%
• Services, 57.4% (2017 est.)
• Exports: vehicles, ships, rail material, medicines, textiles, metallurgical and food, fuels.
191,000 million dollars
• Imports: transport, chemical and food material, oil, machinery.
194,000 million dollars (2016)
HISTORY (XX-XXI centuries)
1916: Germany and Austria proclaimed the formation of a Polish state under their control.
1918: After the German defeat, a provisional government was created, which handed over the powers to Marshal Józef Pilsudski while Warsaw was liberated.
1919-21: The Bolsheviks invaded Eastern Poland. The peace treaty that stipulated Russia’s recognition of Polish independence was signed in Riga. The border between Poland and Lithuania left in Vilna territory, as capital.
1926: J. Pilsudski made his entry in Warsaw at the head of an army and gave a coup that made him a virtual dictator of Poland until his death in 1935.
1939: The German armies attacked Poland and the Soviets invaded the Eastern Poland until the Curzon line. Most of the country was incorporated into the III Reich. The fight against Germany meant the extermination of some six million Poles, half of them Jews.
1945: The Polish territory was completely liberated from German troops, with the Red Army (Soviet) present throughout the country.
1947: Elections were held, denounced by the Allies, in which the communist parties won 90% of the votes.
1950-55: A new Constitution was approved that promoted the socialization of the economy. The Catholic Church opposed social reforms, which created strong tensions between the Church and the State.
1956: After the riots in Poznań, heavy popular confrontations with the government, Wladislaw Gomulka returned, who had been deposed from his position as prime minister.
1960-70: Under the leadership of Gomulka, the liberalization of the structure of the country was put into practice, which led to an improvement in relations between the Church and the State. Before the discontent of certain social groups, in demand of greater freedom of expression, the supporters of a more intransigent line were imposed in the direction of the country.
1970: The rise in the price of foodstuffs aggravated the situation; the repression was especially harsh: 45 dead and hundreds injured. Gomulka resigned and was replaced by E. Gierek.
1978: The election of Polish Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II was to introduce a new factor in the fluid relationship between the regime and the Catholic Church.
1980: A strike movement was unleashed in the shipyards of Gdańsk (Danzig), which would spread along the coast. The signing of the Gdańsk Accords, was the government grant authorizing free unions, was born, thus, the trade union movement Solidarność (Solidarity), led by Lech Walęsa.
1981: Martial law was proclaimed and a Military Council of National Salvation was established, led by General Wojciech Jaruzelski. All unions, official and private, were suspended.
1982: The shipyards of Gdańsk were militarized. Martial law was suspended, but not repealed.
1983: Parliament lifted martial law, but resistance to the regime continued.
1988: Strikes and demonstrations demonstrated the strength of Solidarity, despite the official ban. The new Government of M. Rakowski was paralyzed by the pressures of Solidarity.
1989: Opening of wide-ranging negotiations between the regime and Solidaridad; the agreements led to semi-balanced elections. The new Parliament elected the Catholic leader and Solidarity member Tadeusz Mazowiecki as head of the Government.
1990: Presidential elections were held by direct universal suffrage, in which the two main candidates were Walęsa and Mazowiecki; the victory was for Walęsa.
1991: First democratic elections in which a very fragmented Parliament emerged. The governments backed by the heirs of Solidarity, promoted a rigorous plan to transition to a market economy.
1992: Association agreement with the European Community and launch of a privatization plan.
1993: The legislative elections gave the victory to the Alliance of the Democratic Left and its allies of the Peasant Party. W. Pawlak formed a coalition government with the neo-communists.
1995: In the presidential elections the social-democrat Alekxander Kwaśniewski defeated Walęsa, who aspired to reelection, and thus became the new head of the Polish State.
1996: J. Oleksy was accused of having collaborated with the KGB, after which he resigned as prime minister, being also named former communist W. Cimoszewicz.
1997: The new Constitution was submitted to a referendum, which attributes broad powers to the President of the Republic. NATO decided to admit Poland in a forthcoming round of enlargement.
1998: Reconversions in the mining and steel industry, and administrative reconversion of Poland, which stopped having 49 provinces to be divided into 16. Conflicts between Jews and Catholics about the presence of Christian symbols in the former extermination camps.
2000: The president of the Republic A. Kwaśniewski, obtained the re-election in the elections; its predecessor, Lech Walęsa, did not reach even 1% of the votes.
2001: A new coalition between the Left Democratic Alliance and the Polish Peasant Party formed a government with Leszek Miller as Prime Minister.
2003: The annexation to the European Union was approved in a referendum.
2004: Poland joined the European Union along with 10 other countries. The Prime Minister resigned and Marek Belka replaced him.
2005: The Conservative Party won the general election and its candidate, Lech Kaczyński, won the presidential elections. Later, the party managed to form a coalition with the Self-Defense Party of the Republic of Poland and the League of the Polish Family, and Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz became Prime Minister.
2007: Early elections were held after the ruling coalition collapsed. The liberal party, Civic Platform won the elections.
2010: President Lech Kaczyński died in aviation accident. New presidential elections were called and Bronisław Komorowski emerged victorious. John Abraham Godson became the first member of African origin of the Polish Parliament.
2014: Poland asked NATO to establish 10,000 troops in its territory, to demonstrate that NATO was willing to defend its members after the annexation of Crimea.
2015: The candidate of the Conservative Law and Justice party won both the presidential and general elections.
2017: Poland again accepted NATO troops in its territory, which were aimed at increasing security after the annexation of Crimea to Russia.