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Poland (2001)

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Poland 2001 year

Administrative divisions 16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie
Age structure 0-14 years:
18.39% (male 3,640,451; female 3,463,604)

15-64 years:
69.17% (male 13,288,471; female 13,434,753)

65 years and over:
12.44% (male 1,836,816; female 2,969,817) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork
Airports 122 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
3 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
21 (2000 est.)
Area total:
312,685 sq km

304,465 sq km

8,220 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than New Mexico
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 the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. 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 acceptance to the EU. Poland joined the NATO alliance in 1999.
Birth rate 10.2 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$49.6 billion

$52.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
Capital Warsaw
Climate temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers
Coastline 491 km
Constitution 16 October 1997; adopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 23 May 1997
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Poland

conventional short form:

local long form:
Rzeczpospolita Polska

local short form:
Currency zloty (PLN)
Death rate 9.98 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $57 billion (2000)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Christopher R. HILL

Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-054, Warsaw P1

mailing address:
American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)

[48] (22) 628-30-41

[48] (22) 628-82-98

consulate(s) general:
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Przemyslaw GRUDZINSKI

2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

[1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802

[1] (202) 328-6271

consulate(s) general:
Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $NA
Economy - overview Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalizing the economy and today stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies. GDP growth has been strong and steady since 1992 - the best performance in the region. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms has allowed for the rapid development of a vibrant private sector. In contrast, Poland's large agricultural sector remains handicapped by structural problems, surplus labor, inefficient small farms, and lack of investment. Restructuring and privatization of "sensitive sectors" (e.g., coal, steel, railroads, and energy) has begun. Structural reforms in health care, education, the pension system, and state administration have resulted in larger than expected fiscal pressures. Further progress in public finance depends mainly on privatization of Poland's remaining state sector. The government's determination to enter the EU as soon as possible affects most aspects of its economic policies. Improving Poland's outsized current account deficit and reining in inflation are priorities. Warsaw leads the region in foreign investment and needs a continued large inflow.
Electricity - consumption 120.007 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 8.43 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 3.491 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 134.351 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0.41% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Raczki Elblaskie -2 m

highest point:
Rysy 2,499 m
Environment - current issues situation has improved since 1989 due to decline in heavy industry and increased environmental concern by postcommunist governments; air pollution nonetheless remains serious because of sulfur dioxide 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, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:
Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Ethnic groups Polish 97.6%, German 1.3%, Ukrainian 0.6%, Byelorussian 0.5% (1990 est.)
Exchange rates zlotych per US dollar - 4.3126 (December 2000), 4.3461 (2000), 3.9671 (1999), 3.4754 (1998), 3.2793 (1997), 2.6961 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI (since 23 December 1995)

head of government:
Prime Minister Jerzy BUZEK - Solidarity Electoral Union - (since 31 October 1997), Deputy Prime Ministers Janusz STEINHOFF (since 12 June 2000), Longin KOMOLOWSKI (since 19 October 1999)

Council of Ministers responsible to the prime minister and the Sejm; the prime minister proposes, the president appoints, and the Sejm approves the Council of Ministers

president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election held 8 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2005); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm

election results:
Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI reelected president; percent of popular vote - Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI 53.9%, Andrzj OLECHOWSKI 17.3%, Marian KRZAKLEWSKI 15.6%, Lech WALESA 1%
Exports 8.43 billion kWh (1999)
Exports $28.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities machinery and transport equipment 30.2%, intermediate manufactured goods 25.5%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 20.9%, food and live animals 8.5% (1999)
Exports - partners Germany 36.1%, Italy 6.5%, Netherlands 5.3%, France 4.8%, UK 4.0%, Czech Republic 3.8% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white
GDP purchasing power parity - $327.5 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


59.6% (1999)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $8,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.8% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 52 00 N, 20 00 E
Geography - note historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain
Heliports 3 (2000 est.)
Highways total:
381,046 km

249,966 km (including 268 km of expressways)

131,080 km (1998)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
26.3% (1996)
Illicit drugs major illicit producer of amphetamine for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe
Imports 3.491 billion kWh (1999)
Imports $42.7 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities machinery and transport equipment 38.2%, intermediate manufactured goods 20.8%, chemicals 14.3%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 9.5% (1999)
Imports - partners Germany 25.2%, Italy 9.4%, France 6.8%, Russia 5.8%, UK 4.6%, Netherlands 3.7% (1999)
Independence 11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)
Industrial production growth rate 4.3% (1999)
Industries machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
Infant mortality rate 9.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10.2% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 19 (2000)
Irrigated land 1,000 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period); Constitutional Tribunal (judges are chosen by the Sejm for nine-year terms)
Labor force 17.2 million (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation industry 22.1%, agriculture 27.5%, services 50.4% (1999)
Land boundaries total:
2,888 km

border countries:
Belarus 605 km, Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 428 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

10% (1993 est.)
Languages Polish
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 although under the new constitution, the Constitutional Tribunal ruling will become final as of October 1999; court decisions can be appealed to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg
Legislative branch bicameral National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe consists of the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) and the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms)

Sejm elections last held 21 September 1997 (next to be held by NA September 2001); Senate - last held 21 September 1997 (next to be held by NA September 2001)

election results:
Sejm - percent of vote by party - AWS 33.8%, SLD 27.1%, UW 13.4%, PSL 7.3%, ROP 5.6%, MNSO 0.4%, other 12.4%; seats by party - AWS 201, SLD 164, UW 60, PSL 27, ROP 6, MNSO 2; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - AWS 51, SLD 28, UW 8, ROP 5, PSL 3, independents 5; note - seats by party in the Sejm as of February 2001: AWS 175, SLD 161, UW 49, PSL 26, PP 6, KdP 7, ROP-PC 4, independents 31, one seat vacant

two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties
Life expectancy at birth total population:
73.42 years

69.26 years

77.82 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


98% (1978 est.)
Location Central Europe, east of Germany
Map references Europe
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone:
defined by international treaties

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
46 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 943,540 GRT/1,532,694 DWT

ships by type:
bulk 41, cargo 2, chemical tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea passenger 1 (2000 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $3.17 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.95% (FY00)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
10,447,931 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
8,139,245 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 19 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
344,781 (2001 est.)
National holiday Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards NA
Natural resources coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, arable land
Net migration rate -0.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil and petroleum products 2,280 km; natural gas 17,000 km (1996)
Political parties and leaders Coalition for Poland or KdP [first name unknown GRABOWSKI]; Confederation for an Independent Poland-Patriotic Camp or KPN-OP (KPN-Fatherland or KPN-O is a small group within the KPN-OP) [Michal JANISZEWSKI]; Democratic Left Alliance or SLD (Social Democracy of Poland) [Leszek MILLER]; Freedom Union or UW [Bronislaw GEREMEK]; German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Henryk KROLL]; Movement for the Reconstruction of Poland or ROP-PC [Jan OLSZEWSKI]; Polish Accord or PP [Jan LOPUSZANSKI]; Polish Peasant Party or PSL [Jaroslaw KALINOWSKI]; Polish Socialist Party or PPS [Piotr IKONOWICZ]; Solidarity Electoral Action or AWS (includes RS-AWS and Solidarity) [Marian KRZAKLEWSKI]; Social Movement-Solidarity Electoral Action or RS-AWS [Jerzy BUZEK]
Political pressure groups and leaders All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union); Roman Catholic Church; Solidarity (trade union)
Population 38,633,912 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 18.4% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate -0.03% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kolobrzeg, Szczecin, Swinoujscie, Ustka, Warsaw, Wroclaw
Radio broadcast stations AM 14, FM 777, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios 20.2 million (1997)
Railways total:
23,420 km

broad gauge:
646 km 1.524-m gauge

standard gauge:
21,639 km 1.435-m gauge (11,626 km electrified; 8,978 km double track)

narrow gauge:
1,135 km various gauges including 1.000-m, 0.785-m, 0.750-m, and 0.600-m (1998)
Religions Roman Catholic 95% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and other 5%
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:
0.62 male(s)/female

total population:
0.94 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
underdeveloped and outmoded system; government aimed to have 10 million telephones in service by 2000; the process of partial privatization of the state-owned telephone monopoly has begun; in 1998 there were over 2 million applicants on the waiting list for telephone service

cable, open wire, and microwave radio relay; 3 cellular networks; local exchanges 56.6% digital

satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat, NA Eutelsat, 2 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions), and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Telephones - main lines in use 8.07 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1.78 million (1998)
Television broadcast stations 179 (plus 256 repeaters) (September 1995)
Terrain mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Total fertility rate 1.37 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 12% (1999)
Waterways 3,812 km (navigable rivers and canals) (1996)
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