Poland 1990Poland

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Poland - Introduction 1990
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Background: Poland gained 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 an independent trade union 'Solidarity' that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency.

Poland - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 2,980 km total; Czechoslovakia 1,309 km, GDR 456 km, USSR 1,215 km

Coastline: 491 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea:12 nm

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

Terrain: mostly flat plain, mountains along southern border


Natural resources: coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt
Land use

Land use: 46% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 13% meadows and pastures; 28% forest and woodland; 12% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

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

Poland - People 1990
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Population: 37,776,725 (July 1990), growth rate NEGL (1990)

Nationality: noun--Pole(s; adjective--Polish

Ethnic groups: 98.7% Polish, 0.6% Ukrainian, 0.5% Byelorussian, less than 0.05% Jewish

Languages: Polish

Religions: 95% Roman Catholic (about 75% practicing), 5% Russian Orthodox, Protestant, and other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 14 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 9 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: - 5 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: plain crossed by a few north-flowing, meandering streams; severe air and water pollution in south

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 13 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 68 years male, 77 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.1 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 98%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Poland - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Poland

Government type: democratic state

Capital: Warsaw

Administrative divisions: 49 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular--wojewodztwo; Biala Podlaska, Bialystok, Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Chelm, Ciechanow, Czestochowa, Elblag, Gdansk, Gorzow Wielkopolski, Jelenia Gora, Kalisz, Katowice, Kielce, Konin, Koszalin, Krakow, Krosno, Legnica, Leszno, Lodz, Lomza, Lublin, Nowy Sacz, Olsztyn, Opole, Ostroleka, Pila, Piotrkow, Plock, Poznan, Przemysl, Radom, Rzeszow, Siedlce, Sieradz, Skierniewice, Slupsk, Suwalki, Szczecin, Tarnobrzeg, Tarnow, Torun, Walbrzych, Warszawa, Wloclawek, Wroclaw, Zamosc, Zielona Gora

Dependent areas

Independence: 11 November 1918, independent republic proclaimed

National holiday: National Liberation Day, 22 July (1952) will probably be replaced by Constitution Day, 3 May (1794)

Constitution: the Communist-imposed Constitution of 22 July 1952 will be replaced by a democratic Constitution before May 1991

Legal system: mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and Communist legal theory; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State--President Gen. Wojciech JARUZELSKI (since 19 July 1989, Chairman of Council of State since 6 November 1985; Head of Government--Premier Tadeusz MAZOWIECKI (since 24 August 1989)

Legislative branch: Ground Forces, National Air Defense Forces, Air Force Command, Navy

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: CCC, CEMA, Council of Europe, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBEC, ICAO, ICES, IHO, ILO, ILZSG, IMO, IPU, ISO, ITC, ITU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, Warsaw Pact, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Jan KINAST; Chancery at 2,640 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20,009; telephone (202) 234-3,800 through 3,802; there are Polish Consulates General in Chicago and New York; US--Ambassador-designate Thomas SIMONS, Jr.; Embassy at Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31, Warsaw (mailing address is APO New York 9,213; telephone p48o 283,041 through 283,049; there is a US Consulate General in Krakow and a Consulate in Poznan

Flag descriptionflag of Poland: two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red--a crowned eagle is to be added; similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Poland - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: The economy, except for the agricultural sector, had followed the Soviet model of state ownership and control of the country's productive assets. About 75% of agricultural production had come from the private sector and the rest from state farms. The economy has presented a picture of moderate but slowing growth against a background of underlying weaknesses in technology and worker motivation. GNP increased between 3% and 6% annually during the period 1983-1986, but grew only 2.5% and 2.1% in 1987 and 1988, respectively. Output dropped by 1.5% in 1989. The inflation rate, after falling sharply from the 1982 peak of 100% to 22% in 1986, rose to a galloping rate of 640% in 1989. Shortages of consumer goods and some food items worsened in 1988-89. Agricultural products and coal have remained the biggest hard currency earners, but manufactures are increasing in importance. Poland, with its hard currency debt of approximately $40 billion, is severely limited in its ability to import much-needed hard currency goods. The sweeping political changes of 1989 disrupted normal economic channels and exacerbated shortages. In January 1990, the new Solidarity-led government adopted a cold turkey program for transforming Poland to a market economy. The government moved to eliminate subsidies, end artificially low prices, make the zloty convertible, and, in general, halt the hyperinflation. These financial measures are accompanied by plans to privatize the economy in stages. Substantial outside aid will be needed if Poland is to make a successful transition in the 1990s.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 15% of GNP and 28% of labor force; 75% of output from private farms, 25% from state farms; productivity remains low by European standards; leading European producer of rye, rapeseed, and potatoes; wide variety of other crops and livestock; major exporter of pork products; normally self-sufficient in food

Industries: machine building, iron and steel, extractive industries, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

Industrial production growth rate: - 2.0% (1988)

Labor force:
17,128,000 (1988; 36.5%
industry and construction; 28.5% agriculture; 14.7% trade, transport, and communications; 20.3% government and other

Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%; 215,000 (official number, mid-March 1990)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $23 billion; expenditures $24 billion, including capital expenditures of $3.5 billion (1988)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $24.7 billion (f.o.b., 1987 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment 63%; fuels, minerals, and metals 14%; manufactured consumer goods 14%; agricultural and forestry products 5% (1987 est.)
Partners: USSR 25%, FRG 12%, Czechoslovakia 6% (1988)

Imports: $22.8 billion (f.o.b., 1987 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment 36%; fuels, minerals, and metals 35%; manufactured consumer goods 9%; agricultural and forestry products 12%
Partners: USSR 23%, FRG 13%, Czechoslovakia 6% (1988)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $40 billion (1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: zlotych (Zl) per US$1--9,500.00 (January 1990), 1,439.18 (1989), 430.55 (1988), 265.08 (1987), 175.29 (1986), 147.14 (1985)

Poland - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Poland - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Poland - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 954 billion zlotych, NA% of total budget (1989; note--conversion of the military budget into US dollars using the official administratively set exchange rate would produce misleading results

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Poland - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 160 total, 160 usable; 85 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runway over 3,659 m; 35 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 65 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: 4,500 km for natural gas; 1,986 km for crude oil; 360 km for refined products (1987)



Waterways: 3,997 km navigable rivers and canals (1988)

Merchant marine: 234 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,957,534 GRT/4,164,665 DWT; includes 5 short-sea passenger, 93 cargo, 3 refrigerated cargo, 12 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 9 container, 3 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 4 chemical tanker, 105 bulk

Ports and terminals

Poland - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Undercover Tourist

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