Poland

Republic of Poland
Anthem

Mazurek Dąbrowskiego
(Dąbrowski's Mazurka)
Location of  Poland(dark green)

– on the European continent(green & dark grey)
– in the European Union(green)  —  [Legend]

Capital
(and largest city)
Warsaw
52°13′N 21°02′E / 52.217°N 21.033°E / 52.217; 21.033
Official language(s) Polish
Ethnic groups  96.7% Polish, 3.3% others
Demonym Pole/Polish
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  President Bronisław Komorowski
 -  Prime Minister Donald Tusk
Formation
 -  Christianisation[c] 966 
 -  First Republic July 1, 1569 
 -  Second Republic November 11, 1918 
 -  People's Republic December 31, 1944 
 -  Third Republic January 30, 1990 
EU accession 1 May 2004
Area
 -  Total 312685 km2 [d](69th)
120,696.41 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 3.07
Population
 -  June 2010 estimate 38,192,000[1] (34th)
 -  December 2007 census 38,116,000[2] (34th)
 -  Density 120/km2 (83rd)
319.9/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate
 -  Total $727.086 billion[3] (19th)
 -  Per capita $18,705[3] 
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $479.026 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $12,575[3] 
Gini (2002) 34.5 
HDI (2010) 0.795[4] (very high) (41st)
Currency Złoty (PLN)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .pl
Calling code 48
1 ^a See, however, Unofficial mottos of Poland.
2 ^b Although not official languages, Belarusian, Kashubian, Silesian, Lithuanian and German are used in 20 communal offices.
3 ^c The adoption of Christianity in Poland is seen by many Poles, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof, as one of the most significant national historical events; the new religion was used to unify the tribes in the region.
4 ^d The area of Poland according to the administrative division, as given by the Central Statistical Office, is of which is land area and is internal water surface area.[2]

Poland (; Polish: Polska), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska; Kashubian: Pòlskô Repùblika; ) – is a country in Central Europe[5][6] bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north. The total area of Poland is ,[2] making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. Poland has a population of over 38 million people,[2] which makes it the 34th most populous country in the world[7] and the sixth most populous member of the European Union, being its most populous post-communist member.

The establishment of a Polish state is often identified with the adoption of Christianity by its ruler Mieszko I in 966, over the territory similar to that of present-day Poland. The Kingdom of Poland was formed in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin, forming the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth ceased to exist in 1795 as the Polish lands were partitioned among the Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. Poland regained its independence as the Second Polish Republic in 1918. Two decades later, in September 1939, it was invaded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union triggering World War II. Over six million Polish citizens died in the war. Poland reemerged several years later within the Soviet sphere of influence as the People's Republic in existence until 1989.

During the Revolutions of 1989, communist rule was overthrown and soon after, Poland became what is constitutionally known as the "Third Polish Republic." Poland is a unitary state made up of sixteen voivodeships (Polish: województwo). Poland is a member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

History

Etymology

The source of the name Poland[8] and the ethnonyms for the Poles[9] include endonyms (the way Polish people refer to themselves and their country) and exonyms (the way other peoples refer to the Poles and their country). Endonyms and most exonyms for Poles and Poland derive from the name of the West Slavic tribe of Polans (Polanie), while in some languages the exonyms for Poland derive from the name of another tribe – the Lendians (Lędzianie).

Prehistory

Historians have postulated that throughout Late Antiquity, many distinct ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now known as Poland. The ethnicity and linguistic affiliation of these groups has been hotly debated; in particular the time and route of the original settlement of Slavic peoples in these regions has been the subject of much controversy.

The most famous archeological find from Poland's prehistory and protohistory is the Biskupin fortified settlement (now reconstructed as a museum), dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.