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Poland (2004)

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Poland 2004 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: 17.1% (male 3,388,247; female 3,216,085)

15-64 years: 70% (male 13,454,820; female 13,591,814)

65 years and over: 12.9% (male 1,896,940; female 3,078,443) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork
Airports 122 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 84

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 30

1,524 to 2,437 m: 40

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 3 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 39

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 21 (2004 est.)
Area total: 312,685 sq km

land: 304,465 sq km

water: 8,220 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than New Mexico
Background Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived around the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government 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, but Poland currently suffers low GDP growth and high unemployment. Solidarity suffered a major defeat in the 2001 parliamentary elections when it failed to elect a single deputy to the lower house of Parliament, and the new leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union subsequently pledged to reduce the Trade Union's political role. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
Birth rate 10.64 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $39.13 billion

expenditures: $48.64 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)
Capital Warsaw
Climate temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers
Coastline 491 km
Constitution adopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 25 May 1997; effective 17 October 1997
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Poland

conventional short form: Poland

local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska

local short form: Polska
Currency zloty (PLN)
Death rate 9.97 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $86.82 billion (2003)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Victor ASHE

embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540 Warsaw

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

telephone: [48] (22) 504-2000

FAX: [48] (22) 504-2688

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

chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802

FAX: [1] (202) 328-6270

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient EU structural adjustment funds (2000)
Economy - overview Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of economic liberalization throughout the 1990s and today stands out as a success story among transition economies. Even so, much remains to be done. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms has encouraged the development of the private business sector, but legal and bureaucratic obstacles alongside persistent corruption are hampering its further development. Poland's 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), while recently initiated, have stalled. 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 reduction of state employment, and an overhaul of the tax code to incorporate the growing gray economy and farmers, most of whom pay no tax. The government's determination to enter the EU has shaped most aspects of its economic policy and new legislation; in a nationwide referendum in November 2003, 77% of the voters voted in favor of Poland's EU accession, now scheduled for May 2004. Improving Poland's export competitiveness and containing the internal budget deficit are top priorities. Due to political uncertainty, the zloty has recently depreciated in relation to the euro, while currencies of the other euro-zone aspirants have been appreciating. GDP per capita equals that of the three Baltic states.
Electricity - consumption 118.8 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 11.04 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 4.306 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 135 billion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: near 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 post-Communist 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; pollution levels should continue to decrease as industrial establishments bring their facilities up to European Union code, but at substantial cost to business and the government
Environment - international agreements party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
Ethnic groups Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other 2.7% (2002)
Exchange rates zlotych per US dollar - 3.8891 (2003), 4.08 (2002), 4.0939 (2001), 4.3461 (2000), 3.9671 (1999)

note: zlotych is the plural form of zloty
Executive branch chief of state: President Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI (since 23 December 1995)

head of government: Prime Minister Marek BELKA (since 24 June 2004); Deputy Prime Minister Jerzy HAUSNER (since 11 June 2003)

cabinet: 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

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last 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%, Andrzej OLECHOWSKI 17.3%, Marian KRZAKLEWSKI 15.6%, Lech WALESA 1%
Exports 11.04 billion kWh (2001)
Exports $57.6 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports 41 million cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 53,000 bbl/day (2001)
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 32.3%, France 6.1%, Italy 5.8%, UK 5%, Netherlands 4.5%, Czech Republic 4.1% (2003)
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 - $427.1 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 3.1%

industry: 31%

services: 65.9% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $11,100 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3.7% (2003 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 (2003 est.)
Highways total: 364,656 km

paved: 249,060 km (including 358 km of expressways)

unpaved: 115,596 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 24.7% (1998)
Illicit drugs major illicit producer of synthetic drugs for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe
Imports 4.306 billion kWh (2001)
Imports $63.65 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports 8.782 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 413,700 bbl/day (2001)
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 24.4%, Italy 8.5%, Russia 7.7%, France 7.1%, China 4.3% (2003)
Independence 11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)
Industrial production growth rate 8.6% (2003)
Industries machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
Infant mortality rate total: 8.73 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 9.82 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 0.7% (2003 est.)
International organization participation ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (member affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Irrigated land 1,000 sq km (1998 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 16.92 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 27.5%, industry 22.1%, services 50.4% (1999)
Land boundaries total: 2,788 km

border countries: Belarus 407 km, Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 526 km
Land use arable land: 45.91%

permanent crops: 1.12%

other: 52.97% (2001)
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, but rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final; court decisions can be appealed to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg
Legislative branch bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house, the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms), and a lower house, the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms); the designation of National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the two houses meet jointly

elections: Sejm elections last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held by September 2005); Senate - last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held by September 2005)

election results: Sejm - percent of vote by party - SLD-UP 41%, PO 12.7%, Samoobrona 10.2%, PiS 9.5%, PSL 9%, LPR 7.9%, AWSP 5.6% UW 3.1%, other 1%; seats by party (as of 10 December 2004) - SLD 154, PO 56, PiS 44, PSL 40, SDPL 33, SO 30, LPR 25, UP 15, PLD 11, SKL 6, RKN 5, Dom Ojczysty 4, PP 3, ROP 3, German minorities 2, independents 26; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party (as of 10 December 2004)- SLD-UP 74, Block Senate 2001 10, PSL and unaffiliated 5, UW 4, SO 2, LPR 2, independents 2, PiS 1

note: two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties in the Sejm only
Life expectancy at birth total population: 74.16 years

male: 70.04 years

female: 78.52 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.7% (2003 est.)
Location Central Europe, east of Germany
Map references Europe
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties
Merchant marine total: 14 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 154,710 GRT/228,132 DWT

by type: bulk 7, cargo 3, chemical tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1

registered in other countries: 100 (2004 est.)
Military branches Land Forces, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $3.5 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.71% (2002)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 10,291,628 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 8,034,577 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 329,743 (2004 est.)
National holiday Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Nationality noun: Pole(s)

adjective: Polish
Natural hazards flooding
Natural resources coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land
Net migration rate -0.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines gas 13,552 km; oil 1,772 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Catholic-National Movement or RKN [Antoni MACIEREWICZ]; Citizens Platform or PO [Donald TUSK]; Coalition Electoral Action Solidarity of the Right or AWSP; Conservative Peasants Party or SKL-RNP [Artur BALAZS]; Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Krzysztof JANIK]; Freedom Union or UW [Wladyslaw FRASYNIUK]; German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Henryk KROLL]; Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI]; League of Polish Families or LPR [Marek KOTLINOWSKI]; Movement for the Reconstruction of Poland or ROP [Jan OLSZEWSKI]; Peasant-Democratic Party or PLD [Roman JAGIELINSKI]; Polish Accord or PP [Jan LOPUSZANSKI]; Polish Peasant Bloc or PBL [Wojciech MOJZESOWICZ]; Polish Peasant Party or PSL [Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI]; Polish Raison d'Etat or PRS [Piotr MUSIAL]; Samoobrona or SO [Andrzej LEPPER]; Social Democratic Party of Poland or SDPL [Marek BOROWSKI]; Social Movement or RS [Krzysztof PIESIEWICZ]; Union of Labor or UP [Izabela JARUAGA-NOWACKA]
Political pressure groups and leaders All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union) [Maciej MANICKI]; Roman Catholic Church [Cardinal Jozef GLEMP]; Solidarity Trade Union [Janusz SNIADEK]
Population 38,626,349 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 18.4% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate 0.02% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kolobrzeg, Szczecin, Swinoujscie, Ustka, Warsaw, Wroclaw
Radio broadcast stations AM 14, FM 777, shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways total: 23,852 km

broad gauge: 629 km 1.524-m gauge

standard gauge: 23,223 km 1.435-m gauge (11,962 km electrified) (2003)
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 (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: underdeveloped and outmoded system in the process of being overhauled; partial privatization of the state-owned telephone monopoly is underway; the long waiting list for main line telephone service has resulted in a boom in mobile cellular telephone use

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

international: country code - 48; 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 12.3 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 17.4 million (2003)
Television broadcast stations 179 (plus 256 repeaters) (September 1995)
Terrain mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Total fertility rate 1.38 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 20% (2003)
Waterways 3,997 km (navigable rivers and canals) (2003)
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