Statistical information Poland 1996Poland

Map of Poland | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Poland in the World
Poland in the World


Poland - Introduction 1996
top of page

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. Complete freedom came with the implosion of the USSR in 1991. A 'shock therapy' program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe boosting hopes for early acceptance to the EU.

Poland - Geography 1996
top of page

Location: Central Europe, east of Germany

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 312,680 km²
Land: 304,510 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than New Mexico

Land boundaries: Total 3,114 km, Belarus 605 km, Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 428 km

Coastline: 491 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties
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
Lowest point: Raczki Elblaskie -2 m
Highest point: Rysy 2,499 m


Natural resources:
Natural gas

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 46%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 13%
Forests and woodland: 28%
Other: 12%

Irrigated land: 1,000 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Poland - People 1996
top of page

38,642,565 (July 1996 est.)
38,792,442 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
0.14% (1996 est.)
0.36% (1995 est.)

Noun: Pole(s)
Adjective: Polish

Ethnic groups:
Polish 97.6%
German 1.3%
Ukrainian 0.6%
Byelorussian 0.5% (1990 est.)

Languages: Polish

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
22% (male 4,399,649; female 4,188,824)
23% (male 4,559,536; female 4,349,467)

15-64 years:
66% (male 12,754,272; female 12,930,275)
66% (male 12,698,179; female 12,849,300)

65 years and over:
12% (male 1,654,526; female 2,715,019) (July 1996 est.)
11% (male 1,642,553; female 2,693,407) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
0.14% (1996 est.)
0.36% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
11.92 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
13.34 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
10.08 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
9.23 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.4 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
-0.52 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: forest damage due to air pollution and resulting acid rain; improper means for disposal of large a.htms of hazardous and industrial waste; severe water pollution from industrial and municipal sources; severe air pollution results from emissions of sulfur dioxide from coal-fired power plants, which also drifts into Germany and the Netherlands
Current issues Natural hazards: NA
International agreements: party to_Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified_Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Law of the Sea
International agreements note: Historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:12.4 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
12.4 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72.1 years (1996 est.), 73.13 years (1995 est.)
Male: 68.02 years (1996 est.), 69.15 years (1995 est.)
Female: 76.41 years (1996 est.), 77.33 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.69 children born/woman (1996 est.)
1.92 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1978)
Total population: 99%
Male: 99%
Female: 98%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Poland - Government 1996
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Poland
Conventional short form: Poland
Local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
Local short form: Polska

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, 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: Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)

Constitution: Interim "small constitution" came into effect in December 1992 replacing the Communist-imposed constitution of 22 July 1952; new democratic constitution being drafted

Legal system: Mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover Communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI (since 23 December 1995) was elected for a five-year term by popular vote; election first round held 5 November 1995, second round held 19 November 1995 (next to be held NA November 2000); results_second round Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI 51.7%, Lech WALESA 48.3%
22 dec 1990 22 dec 1995: President Lech WALESA
Head of government: Prime Minister Wlodimierz CIMOSZEWICZ (since 7 February 1996), Deputy Prime Ministers Roman JAGIELINSKI (since NA), Grzegorz KOLODKO (since NA), and Miroslaw PIETRIEWICZ (since NA) were appointed by the Sejm
Cabinet: Council of Ministers is responsible to the president and the Sejm; the prime minister appointed and the Sejm approved the Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: Bicameral National Assembly (Zgromadzenie Narodowe) post-communist parties (PSL 34, SLD 37), post-Solidarity parties (UW 6, NSZZ 12, BBWR 2), non-communist, non-Solidarity (independents 7, unaffiliated 1, vacant 1) post-communist parties (SLD 171, PSL 132), post-Solidarity parties (UW 74, UP 41, BBWR 16), non-communist, non-Solidarity (KPN 22)
Note: four seats are constitutionally assigned to ethnic German parties Sejm:Elections last held 19 September 1993 (next to be held no later than 19 September 1997); results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(460 total) Senate (Senat):Eections last held 19 September 1993 (next to be held no later than 19 September 1997); results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(100 total)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of Judiciary

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarset, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NACC, NAM (guest), NSG, OAS (observer), OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNPROFOR, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Poland: Two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Poland - Economy 1996
top of page

Economy overview: In 1995, Poland continued to make good progress in the difficult transition to a market economy that began on 1 January 1990, when the new democratic government instituted "shock therapy" by decontrolling prices, slashing subsidies, and drastically reducing import barriers. Although real GDP fell sharply in 1990 and 1991, in 1992 Poland became the first country in the region to resume economic growth with a 2.6% increase. Growth advanced to 3.8% in 1993, 5.2% in 1994, and 6.5% in 1995. Most of the growth since 1991 had come from the booming private sector, which now accounts for about 60% of GDP, due in large part to the creation of new private firms. The slow pace of privatization picked up somewhat in 1995, as 512 smaller state enterprises were transferred to private National Investment Funds under the Mass Privatization Program, but large-scale industry remains largely in state hands. Industrial production increased 10.2% in 1995, following a 13.2% rise in 1994, yet remains about 13% below the 1989 level. Inflation, which had approached 1,200% annually in early 1990, fell to 21.6% in December 1995, as the government held the 1995 budget deficit to less than 3% of GDP. After peaking at 16.9% in July 1994, unemployment gradually fell to 14.9% in December 1995_although the rate still approaches 30% in some regions. The trade and current account balances officially are in deficit but in fact both have comfortable surpluses because of large, unrecorded sales to cross-border visitors. Prospects for 1996 are good, with the government promising to push privatization and social welfare reform. Economic growth should remain above 5%, with inflation dropping below 20% by yearend 1996 and unemployment continuing its slow decline. As for external debt, the burden was sharply reduced by reschedulings and write-offs of both private and official debt during 1991-94.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
6.9% (1997)
6.5% (1995 est.)

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 7% of GDP; 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

Machine building
Iron and steel
Extractive industries
Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate:10.2% (1995), 12% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 17.743 million (1994 annual average)
By occupation industry and construction: 32.0%
By occupation agriculture: 27.6%
By occupation transport and communications: 14.7%
By occupation government and other: 25.7% (1992)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
10.3% (1997)
14.9% (December 1995)
21.6% (November 1994)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $34.5 billion (1995 est.), $27.1 billion (1994 est.)
Expenditures: $37.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.), $30 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1994 est.)

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

total value. $22.2 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
$16.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

Intermediate goods 27.5%
Machinery and transport equipment 19.8%
Miscellaneous manufactures 20.5%
Foodstuffs 11.6%
Fuels 9.1% (1994)

Germany 35.7%
Russia 5.4%
Italy 4.9%
Netherlands 5.9% (1994)

Total value:
$23.4 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
$18.1 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

Machinery and transport equipment 28.9%
Intermediate goods 20.2%
Chemicals 14.7%
Fuels 10.4%
Miscellaneous manufactures 9.9%

Germany 27.5%
Italy 8.4%
Russia 6.8%
U.K. 5.3% (1994)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $42.1 billion (yearend 1995 est.), $47 billion (1993; note_Poland's Western government creditors promised in 1991 to forgive 30% of Warsaw's $35 billion official debt immediately and to forgive another 20% in 1994; foreign banks agreed in early 1994 to forgive 45% of their $12 billion debt claim

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Zlotych (Zl) per US$1 - 2.55 (January 1996) 2.4250 (1995)
Note: a currency reform on 1 January 1995 replaced 10,000 old zlotys with 1 new zloty; 22,723 (1994), 18,115 (1993), 13,626 (1992), 10,576 (1991), 9,500 (1990)

Poland - Energy 1996
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 133.7 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,000 kWh (1993)

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 1996
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 5 million telephones; 12.7 phones/100 residents (1994); severely underdeveloped and outmoded system; government aims to have 10 million phones in service by the year 2000
Domestic: cable, open wire, and microwave; nationwide GSM mobile phone system
International: INTELSAT, EUTELSAT, 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean Regions), and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean Region)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Poland - Military 1996
top of page

Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Poland - Transportation 1996
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 134
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 30
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 27
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 3
With paved runways under 914 m: 7
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 5
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 10
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 32
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 18

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 2
2438 to 3047 m: 30
15-24 to 2437 m: 27
914 to 1523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 7

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 5
15-24 to 2437 m: 10
914 to 1523 m: 32
Under 914 m: 18


Pipelines: Crude oil 1,986 km; petroleum products 360 km; natural gas 4,600 km (1992)



Waterways: 3,997 km navigable rivers and canals (1991)

Merchant marine
Total: 131 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,093,491 GRT/3,167,660 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 73, cargo 36, chemical tanker 4, container 7, oil tanker 1, passenger 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 4, short-sea passenger 5
Note: Poland owns an additional 18 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 179,913 DWT operating under the registries of The Bahamas, Liberia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu, and Cyprus (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Poland - Transnational issues 1996
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Illicit producer of opium for domestic consumption and amphetamines for the international market; transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe; producer of precursor chemicals


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it