WorldABC.xyz: facts on every entity in the world

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 European Union 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.



Central Europe, east of Germany

Geographic coordinates

52.00° N, 20.00° E

Area 70/257

total: 312,685 sq km

land: 304,255 sq km

water: 8,430 sq km

Area - comparative

about twice the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than New Mexico

Land boundaries

total: 3,071 km

border countries (7): Belarus 418 km, Czech Republic 796 km, Germany 467 km, Lithuania 104 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Slovakia 541 km, Ukraine 535 km


440 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties


temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers


mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: near Raczki Elblaskie -2 m

highest point: Rysy 2,499 m

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.)

Irrigated land

970 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

61.6 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 11.96 cu km/yr (31%/60%/10%)

per capita: 312.3 cu m/yr (2009)

Natural hazards


Environment - current issues

decreased emphasis on heavy industry and increased environmental concern by post-communist governments has improved environment; air pollution remains serious because of 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 agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94

Geography - note

historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain

People and Society


noun: Pole(s)

adjective: Polish

Ethnic groups

Polish 96.9%, Silesian 1.1%, German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 1.7%

note: represents ethnicity declared first (2011 est.)


Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.3%

note: data represents the language spoken at home; shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census; Poland ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2009 recognizing Kashub as a regional language, Czech, Hebrew, Yiddish, Belarusian, Lithuanian, German, Armenian, Russian, Slovak, and Ukrainian as national minority languages, and Karaim, Lemko, Romani (Polska Roma and Bergitka Roma), and Tatar as ethnic minority languages (2011 est.)


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 35/238

38,562,189 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.7% (male 2,915,674/female 2,753,218)

15-24 years: 11.52% (male 2,279,404/female 2,163,621)

25-54 years: 43.56% (male 8,471,593/female 8,326,656)

55-64 years: 14.54% (male 2,645,228/female 2,962,305)

65 years and over: 15.67% (male 2,362,421/female 3,682,069) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.8%

youth dependency ratio: 21.5%

elderly dependency ratio: 22.3%

potential support ratio: 4.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 39.9 years

male: 38.2 years

female: 41.6 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 206/233

-0.09% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 200/224

9.74 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 39/225

10.19 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 134/222

-0.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 60.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

WARSAW (capital) 1.722 million; Krakow 760,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

26.9 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 175/184

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 182/224

total: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.89 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 71/224

total population: 77.4 years

male: 73.53 years

female: 81.5 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 216/224

1.33 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 89/191

6.7% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

2.22 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

6.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


urban: 99.3% of population

rural: 96.9% of population

total: 98.3% of population


urban: 0.7% of population

rural: 3.1% of population

total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 97.5% of population

rural: 96.7% of population

total: 97.2% of population


urban: 2.5% of population

rural: 3.3% of population

total: 2.8% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.07% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate 56/191

27% (2014)

Education expenditures 65/173

4.9% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 34/134

total: 27.3%

male: 25.4%

female: 30.1% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Poland

conventional short form: Poland

local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska

local short form: Polska

etymology: name derives from the Polanians, a west Slavic tribe that united several surrounding Slavic groups (9th-10th centuries A.D.) and who passed on their name to the country; the name of the tribe likely comes from the Slavic "pole" (field or plain), indicating the flat nature of the country

Government type



name: Warsaw

geographic coordinates: 52.15° N, 21.00° E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

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)


11 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 966 (adoption of Christianity, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)


several previous; latest adopted 2 April 1997, approved by referendum 25 May 1997, effective 17 October 1997; amended 2006, 2009 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system; changes gradually being introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts, but rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Poland

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Andrzej DUDA (since 6 August 2015)

head of government: Prime Minister Beata SZYDLO (since 16 November 2015); Piotr GLINSKI (since 16 November 2015), Jaroslaw GOWIN (since 16 November 2015), and Mateusz MORAWIECKI (since 16 November 2015)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president, and approved by the Sejm

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 10 and 24 May 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm

election results: Andrzej DUDA elected president; percent of vote in runoff - Andrzej DUDA 51.5%, Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI (independent) 48.5%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the Sejm (460 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms); note - the designation National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the two houses meet jointly

note: the German minority is exempt from the 5% threshold requirement for seats to the Sejm

elections: Senate - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019); Sejm - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PiS 61, PO 34, PSL 1, independents 4; Sejm - percent of vote by party - PiS 37.6%, PO 24.1%, K15 8.8%, .N 7.6%, PSL 5.1% other 16.8%; seats by party - PiS 235, PO 138, K15 42, .N 28, PSL 16, German minority 1

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Sad Najwyzszy (consists of the president of the Supreme Court and 116 judges organized in criminal, civil, labor and social insurance, and military chambers)

judge selection and term of office: president of the Supreme Court nominated by the General Assembly of the Supreme Court and selected by the president of Poland; other judges nominated by the 25-member National Judiciary Council, and appointed by the president of Poland; judges appointed until retirement, usually at age 65, but tenure can be extended

subordinate courts: Constitutional Tribunal; regional and appellate courts subdivided into military, civil, criminal, labor, and family courts

Political parties and leaders

Civic Platform or PO [Ewa KOPACZ, acting chairperson; Slawomir NEUMANN, parliamentary caucus leader]

Congress of the New Right or KNP [Michal MARUSIK, chairman]

Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Leszek MILLER, chairman]

German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Ryszard GALLA, representative]

Kukiz 15 [Pawel KUKIZ; chairman, parliamentary caucus leader]

Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI, chairman; Ryszard TERLECKI, parliamentary caucus leader]

Nowoczesna ("Modern") or .N [Ryszard PETRU; chairman, parliamentary caucus leader]

Polish People's Party or PSL [Wladyslaw KOSINIAK-KAMYSZ; chairman, parliamentary caucus leader]

Your Movement or TR [Janusz PALIKOT, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders

All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ [Jan GUZ] (trade union)

Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarity" [Piotr DUDA]

Roman Catholic Church [Archbishop Wojciech POLAK, Archbishop Stanislaw GADECKI]

International organization participation

Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; colors derive from the Polish emblem - a white eagle on a red field

note: similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white

National symbol(s)

white eagle; national colors: white, red

National anthem

name: "Mazurek Dabrowskiego" (Dabrowski's Mazurka)

lyrics/music: Jozef WYBICKI/traditional

note: adopted 1927; the anthem, commonly known as "Jeszcze Polska nie zginela" (Poland Has Not Yet Perished), was written in 1797; the lyrics resonate strongly with Poles because they reflect the numerous occasions in which the nation's lands have been occupied


Economy - overview

Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and Poland's economy was the only one in the EU to avoid a recession through the 2008-09 economic downturn. Although EU membership and access to EU structural funds have provided a major boost to the economy since 2004, GDP per capita remains significantly below the EU average and the unemployment rate is now below the EU average.

The government of Prime Minister Donald TUSK steered the Polish economy through the economic downturn by skillfully managing public finances and adopting controversial pension and tax reforms to further shore up public finances. While the Polish economy has performed well over the past five years, growth slowed in 2013 and picked back up in 2014-15. Poland’s new center-right Law and Justice government plans to introduce expansionary economic policies to spur long-term growth.

Poland faces several 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 and sources of supply, as well as stemming the outflow of educated young Poles to other EU Member States, especially in light of a coming demographic contraction as the Solidarity-era baby boom generation ages.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 24/230

$1.003 trillion (2015 est.)

$969.3 billion (2014 est.)

$937 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$481.2 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 82/225

3.5% (2015 est.)

3.4% (2014 est.)

1.7% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 69/230

$26,400 (2015 est.)

$25,500 (2014 est.)

$24,600 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 87/179

19.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

18.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

17.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 58.9%

government consumption: 17.8%

investment in fixed capital: 20%

investment in inventories: 0.7%

exports of goods and services: 52.6%

imports of goods and services: -50%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.3%

industry: 41.1%

services: 55.6% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy


machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

Industrial production growth rate 50/202

4.3% (2015 est.)

Labor force 34/233

18.29 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 12.6%

industry: 30.4%

services: 57% (2010)

Unemployment rate 119/207

10.6% (2015 est.)

12.3% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

17.3% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.3%

highest 10%: 25.6% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 109/144

32.4 (2009)

33.7 (1998)


revenues: $81.58 billion

expenditures: $90.24 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 180/219

17% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 64/220

-1.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 104/176

43.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

43.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, the data include subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10/226

-0.8% (2015 est.)

0.1% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 110/156

2.5% (31 December 2012)

1.5% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 141/184

5.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

6.18% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 25/192

$167.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$172.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 33/193

$306.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$318.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 33/191

$344 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$348 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 36/121

$177.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$138.2 billion (31 December 2011)

$190.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 151/197

-$2.482 billion (2015 est.)

-$6.915 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 25/224

$190.2 billion (2015 est.)

$210.7 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6% (2012 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 27.1%, UK 6.6%, Czech Republic 6.6%, France 5.8%, Italy 4.7%, Netherlands 4.3%, Russia 4.2% (2014)

Imports 25/223

$187.5 billion (2015 est.)

$215 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 15%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9% (2011 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 28%, Russia 9.1%, China 6.5%, Netherlands 5.9%, Italy 5.5%, France 4.2%, Czech Republic 4.2% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 24/170

$94.75 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$100.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 32/206

$354.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$382.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 24/120

$287.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$280.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 37/105

$72.19 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$70.69 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -

3.7 (2015 est.)

3.15 (2014 est.)

3.15 (2013 est.)

3.26 (2012 est.)

2.96 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 27/220

152.7 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 25/219

139 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 15/218

12.32 billion kWh (2013)

Electricity - imports 31/219

7.8 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 26/214

35.22 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 79/214

89.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 164/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 142/214

1.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 44/212

8.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 73/214

19,260 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 68/214

8,170 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 19/214

467,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 68/215

142.4 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 31/214

539,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 33/212

510,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 43/214

127,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 48/213

109,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 49/216

6.08 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 38/215

17.86 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 47/215

76 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 23/214

11.82 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 55/212

92 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 25/212

289.5 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 30/219

total subscriptions: 5.04 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 26/217

total: 59.8 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 155 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: modernization of the telecommunications network has accelerated with market-based competition; fixed-line service, dominated by the former state-owned company, is dwarfed by the growth in mobile-cellular services

domestic: mobile-cellular service available since 1993 and provided by four nation-wide networks; coverage is generally good with some gaps in the east; fixed-line service lags in rural areas

international: country code - 48; international direct dialing with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 with access to Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik (2011)

Broadcast media

state-run public TV operates 2 national channels supplemented by 16 regional channels and several niche channels; privately owned entities operate several national TV networks and a number of special interest channels; many privately owned channels broadcasting locally; roughly half of all households are linked to either satellite or cable TV systems providing access to foreign television networks; state-run public radio operates 5 national networks and 17 regional radio stations; 2 privately owned national radio networks, several commercial stations broadcasting to multiple cities, and many privately owned local radio stations (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 14, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2008)

Television broadcast stations

75 (2008)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 12/232

13.265 million (2012)

Internet users 22/217

total: 25.9 million

percent of population: 67.2% (2014 est.)


Airports 47/236

126 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 87

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 36

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 6 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 39

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 17

under 914 m: 21 (2013)


6 (2013)


gas 14,198 km; oil 1,374 km; refined products 777 km (2013)

Railways 15/136

total: 19,837 km

broad gauge: 395 km 1.524-m gauge

standard gauge: 19,442 km 1.435-m gauge (11,899 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 16/223

total: 412,035 km

paved: 280,719 km (includes 2,418 km of expressways)

unpaved: 131,316 km (2012)

Waterways 27/107

3,997 km (navigable rivers and canals) (2009)

Merchant marine 118/156

total: 9

by type: cargo 7, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 1

registered in other countries: 106 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Bahamas 34, Cyprus 24, Liberia 13, Malta 21, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3, Vanuatu 9) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Gdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie

river port(s): Szczecin (River Oder)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Swinoujscie

Military and Security

Military branches

Polish Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Aviation Forces, Special Forces (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; service obligation shortened from 12 to 9 months in 2005; women only allowed to serve as officers and noncommissioned officers (2013)

Military expenditures 44/132

1.95% of GDP (2014)

1.95% of GDP (2013)

1.91% of GDP (2012)

1.83% of GDP (2011)

1.91% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its eastern borders with Belarus and Ukraine

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 14,277 (Russia) (2014); 71,302 applicants for forms of legal stay other than asylum (Ukraine) (2015)

stateless persons: 10,825 (2014)

Illicit drugs

despite diligent counternarcotics measures and international information sharing on cross-border crimes, a major illicit producer of synthetic drugs for the international market; minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe