Poland Country Overview
Where is Poland located? The state of Poland with its capital Warsaw is located in Central Europe. Because of its position within the time zone map, the world time zone in which it is located is also called “Central European Time”. This time zone has a standard offset of 1 hour from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1). In the summer, this time difference increases to 2 hours, since the time is changed to summer time.
As of 2023, the latest population of Poland is 38,282,325, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||-0.19%|
|Birth rate||9.50 births per 1,000 people|
|Overall life expectancy||76.45 years|
|Men life expectancy||72.53 years|
|Women life expectancy||80.62 years|
|65 years and above||17.47%|
|Median age||39.90 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.94|
|Population density||122.43 residents per km²|
|96.9% Poles, national minorities: 2.1% Silesians, 0.6% Kashubians, 0.3% Germans, including: Ukrainians, Belarusians, Roma, Lithuanians, Slovaks, Armenians, Tatars, Czechs; Proportion of foreigners 2015: 0.3%|
|Catholics (Roman Catholic) 95% (thereof 75% practicing), Orthodox 1.3% Protestants 0.3%, others 0.3% unspecified 8.3% |
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.872|
|HDI ranking||32nd out of 194|
People in Poland
38 million people live in Poland. Almost all of them, namely 99.7 percent of the population, are Poles. The minorities living in the country are actually very small. They include Germans, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians.
The largest of these minorities calls themselves Silesians. They make up around two percent of the population and live mainly in Upper Silesia, that is, in the south-west of Poland around the cities of Opole and Katowice. Silesians can still have Polish nationality.
60 out of 100 people live in a city. In comparison with other countries, that is rather little. So there are also quite a few Poles living in the country. The biggest cities are Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk and Szczecin. 122 Poles live per square kilometer. That is a medium-sized population density.
The average age is 41.9 years (in Germany: 47.4 years). Each woman has an average of 1.3 children. That is very little. Many Polish children are now growing up without siblings. The population is not growing, it is decreasing. The average life expectancy is 82.3 years for women and 74.5 years for men.
Languages in Poland
Polish is spoken in Poland. But there are also some minority languages such as Kashubian in the Gdansk region, German in and around Opole, Belarusian on the border with Belarus or Lithuanian on the border with Lithuania. Armenian, Russian and Ukrainian are also not spoken in a regionally concentrated manner.
Polish is one of the Slavic languages. It is the most widely spoken Slavic language in the world after Russian. There are also several dialects in Polish. The main groups are Greater Poland, Lesser Poland, Mazovian, Silesian, mixed dialects and Kashubian. Kashubian is now seen as a separate language. It is spoken in the greater Gdansk area.
Letters in Polish
Polish is written with Latin letters (these are the ones you are reading here). The alphabet is supplemented by the letters Ą, Ć, Ę, Ł, Ń, Ó, Ś, Ź and Ż. These are all letters with diacritical marks. This is what the small ticks or lines on the letters are called. Q, V and X occur in the Polish alphabet, but are only used in foreign words.
As in Russian, there are hard and soft consonants. However, vowels only appear in a short form. There are also nasal sounds and multiple sibilants. Learning the pronunciation is not that easy. The penultimate syllable of a word is usually stressed. There are seven cases in grammar, while we only have four in German.
Religions in Poland
The predominant religion is Catholicism: 86 percent of all Poles belong to the Roman Catholic Church. It has great influence not only religiously, but also in social and political life. In the big cities, however, the influence is waning.
The Poles were very proud when Cardinal Karol Woytila was elected Pope in 1978 and, as Pope John Paul II, remained in this highest Catholic office until his death in 2005.
1.3 percent belong to an Orthodox Church. Other very small minorities are Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses.