Introduction

Europe :: Poland

Background:
Poland's history as a state begins near the middle of the 10th century. By the mid-16th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled a vast tract of land in central and eastern Europe. During the 18th century, internal disorders weakened the nation, and in a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland among 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 with over ten million members. Free elections in 1989 and 1990 won Solidarity control of the parliament and the presidency, bringing the communist era to a close. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.

Geography

Location:
Central Europe, east of Germany

Geographic coordinates:
52 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references:
Europe

Area:
Total: 312,685 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 70
Land: 304,255 sq km
Water: 8,430 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Mexico

Land boundaries:
Total: 3,047 km
Border countries: Belarus 605 km, Czech Republic 615 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Slovakia 420 km, Ukraine 428 km

Coastline:
440 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties

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

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: near Raczki Elblaskie -2 m
Highest point: Rysy 2,499 m

Natural resources:
coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land

Land use:
Arable land: 35.49%
Permanent crops: 1.25%
Other: 63.26% (2011)

Irrigated land:
1,157 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources:
61.6 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 11.96 cu km/yr (31%/60%/10%)
Per capita: 312.3 cu m/yr (2009)

Natural hazards:
flooding

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 EU 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, 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

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

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Pole(s)
Adjective: Polish

Ethnic groups:
Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7% (2002 census)

Languages:
Polish (official) 97.8%, other and unspecified 2.2% (2002 census)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 89.8% [about 75% practicing], Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3% (2002)

Population:
38,383,809 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 33

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.6% (male 2,881,605/female 2,721,614)
15-24 years: 12.3% (male 2,412,546/female 2,313,222)
25-54 years: 44.1% (male 8,506,429/female 8,408,872)
55-64 years: 14.5% (male 2,632,058/female 2,952,063)
65 years and over: 14.5% (male 2,142,246/female 3,413,154) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 41.6 %
Youth dependency ratio: 21.2 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 20.4 %
Potential support ratio: 4.9 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 39.1 years
Male: 37.5 years
Female: 40.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.09% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 203

Birth rate:
9.88 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 199

Death rate:
10.31 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 46

Net migration rate:
-0.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 134

Urbanization:
Urban population: 60.9% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: -0.04% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
WARSAW (capital) 1.71 million; Krakow 756,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
26.6 (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
5 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 6.3 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 169
Male: 7 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 5.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 76.45 years
Country comparison to the world: 77
Male: 72.53 years
Female: 80.62 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.32 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 212

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
72.7%
note: 20-49 (1991)

Health expenditures:
7.5% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 73

Physicians density:
2.14 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:
6.7 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 80% of population
total: 90% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 4% of population
rural: 20% of population
total: 10% of population (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 156

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
27,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 70

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 108

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: intermediate
Vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
25.3% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 72

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 99.7%
Male: 99.9%
Female: 99.6% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 15 years
Male: 15 years
Female: 16 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 28.9%
Country comparison to the world: 30
Male: 23.6%
Female: 25.8% (2011)

Government

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

Government type:
republic

Capital:
Name: Warsaw
Geographic coordinates: 52 15 N, 21 00 E
Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:
16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie (Lower Silesia), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (Kuyavia-Pomerania), Lodzkie, Lubelskie (Lublin), Lubuskie (Lubusz), Malopolskie (Lesser Poland), Mazowieckie (Masovia), Opolskie, Podkarpackie (Subcarpathia), Podlaskie, Pomorskie (Pomerania), Slaskie (Silesia), Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie (Warmia-Masuria), Wielkopolskie (Greater Poland), Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomerania)

Independence:
11 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 966 (adoption of Christianity, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)

National holiday:
Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)

Constitution:
adopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 25 May 1997; effective 17 October 1997

Legal system:
civil law system; changes gradually being introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts, but rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI (since 6 August 2010)
Head of government: Prime Minister Donald TUSK (since 16 November 2007); Deputy Prime Ministers Janusz PIECHOCINSKI (since 6 December 2012) and Jan Vincent "Jacek" ROSTOWSKI (since 20 February 2013)
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 (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 June and 4 July 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm
Election results: Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI elected president; percent of popular vote - Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI 53%, Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI 47%

Legislative branch:
bicameral legislature consists of an upper house, the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms), and a lower house, the Sejm (460 seats; members 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: Senate - last held on 9 October 2011 (next to be held by October 2015); Sejm - last held on 9 October 2011 (next to be held by October 2015)
Election results and current seat distribution: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PO 63, PiS 29, PSL 2, SP 2, independents 4; Sejm - percent of vote by party - PO 39.2%, PiS 29.9%, RP 10%, PSL 8.4%, SLD 8.2%, other 4.3%; seats by party - PO 206, PiS 137, RP 43, PSL 28, SLD 25, SP 19, independent 1, German minority 1
note: the German minority is exempt from the 5% threshold requirement for seats to the Sejm

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court or Sad Najwyzszy (consists of the president of the Supreme Court and 116 judges organized in criminal, civil, labor and social insurance, and military chambers)
Judge selection and term of office: president of the Supreme Court nominated by the General Assembly of the Supreme Court and selected by the president of Poland; other judges nominated by the 25-member National Judiciary Council, and appointed by the president of Poland; judges appointed until retirement, normally at age 65, but tenure can be extended
Subordinate courts: Constitutional Tribunal; regional and appellate courts subdivided into military, civil, criminal, labor, and family courts

Political parties and leaders:
Civic Platform or PO [Donald TUSK, chairman; Rafal GRUPINSKI, parliamentary caucus leader]
Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Leszek MILLER, chairman, parliamentary caucus leader]
Democratic Party or PD [Andrzej CELINSKI, chairman]
Democratic Party or SD [Pawel PISKORSKI, chairman]
German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Ryszard GALLA, representative]
Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI, chairman; Mariusz BLASZCZAK, parliamentary caucus leader]
League of Polish Families or LPR [Witold BALAZAK, chairman]
Palikot's Movement or RP [Janusz PALIKOT, chairman]
Poland Comes First or PJN [Pawel KOWAL, chairperson]
Polish People's Party or PSL [Janusz PIECHOCINSKI, chairman; Jan BURY, parliamentary caucus leader]
Social Democratic Party of Poland or SDPL [Wojciech FILEMONOWICZ, chairman]
Union of Labor or UP [Waldemar WITKOWSKI, chairman]
United Poland or SP (political grouping of former PiS members, not officially registered) [Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, chairperson; Patrick JAKI, parliamentary caucus leader]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union) [Jan GUZ]
Roman Catholic Church [Cardinal Stanislaw DZIWISZ, Archbishop Jozef MICHALIK]
Solidarity Trade Union [Piotr DUDA]

International organization participation:
Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Ryszard SCHNEPF
Chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802
FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271
Consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen MULL
Embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540 Warsaw
Mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)
Telephone: [48] (22) 504-2000
FAX: [48] (22) 504-2688
Consulate(s) general: Krakow

National symbol(s):
white eagle

National anthem:
Name: "Mazurek Dabrowskiego" (Dabrowski's Mazurka)

Lyrics/music: Jozef WYBICKI/traditional
note: adopted 1927; the anthem, commonly known as "Jeszcze Polska nie zginela" (Poland Has Not Yet Perished), was written in 1797; the lyrics resonate strongly with Poles because they reflect the numerous occasions in which the nation's lands have been occupied

Economy

Economy - overview:
Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and Poland's economy was the only one in the European Union to avoid a recession through the 2008-09 economic downturn. Although EU membership and access to EU structural funds have provided a major boost to the economy since 2004, GDP per capita remains significantly below the EU average while unemployment continues to exceed the EU average. The government of Prime Minister Donald TUSK steered the Polish economy through the economic downturn by skillfully managing public finances without stifling economic growth and adopted controversial pension and tax reforms to further shore up public finances. While the Polish economy has performed well over the past five years, growth slowed in 2012, in part due to the ongoing economic difficulties in the euro zone. The key policy challenge is to provide support to the economy through monetary easing, while maintaining the pace of structural fiscal consolidation. Poland's economic performance could improve over the longer term if the country addresses some of the remaining deficiencies in its road and rail infrastructure and its business environment. An inefficient commercial court system, a rigid labor code, red tape, and a burdensome tax system keep the private sector from realizing its full potential.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$814.1 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 22
$797.8 billion (2011 est.)
$764.7 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$487.7 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132
4.3% (2011 est.)
3.9% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$20,900 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 69
$20,700 (2011 est.)
$20,000 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
17.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89
16.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
15.7% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 61.2%
Government consumption: 17.8%
Investment in fixed capital: 19.3%
Investment in inventories: 1.1%
Exports of goods and services: 46.2%
Imports of goods and services: -45.6%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 4%
Industry: 32.2%
Services: 63.8% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy

Industries:
machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles

Industrial production growth rate:
1.3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 114

Labor force:
18.17 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 33

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 12.9%
Industry: 30.2%
Services: 57% (2010)

Unemployment rate:
12.8% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 130
12.4% (2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:
10.6% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 3.3%
Highest 10%: 27.1% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34.1 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 92
31.6 (1998)

Budget:
Revenues: $88.31 billion
Expenditures: $97.65 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
18.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-1.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81

Public debt:
57.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 52
57.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, the data include subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.7% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 113
4.2% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 95
4% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 110
8.47% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$156.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 25
$137 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$293.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 32
$295.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$328.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 33
$295.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$168.1 billion (31 December 2012)
Country comparison to the world: 36
$138.2 billion (31 December 2011)
$190.2 billion (31 December 2010)

Current account balance:
-$18.29 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 180
-$22.25 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$188.5 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 27
$195.2 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6%

Exports - partners:
Germany 26%, UK 7%, Czech Republic 6.5%, France 6%, Russia 5.2%, Italy 5%, Netherlands 4.6% (2012)

Imports:
$195.4 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 26
$209.3 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 15%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9% (2011 est.)

Imports - partners:
Germany 27.3%, Russia 12.2%, Netherlands 5.9%, China 5.4%, Italy 5.2%, Czech Republic 4.3%, France 4.2% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$108.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 24
$97.86 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$364.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 30
$320.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$243.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 22
$210.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$70.73 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 32
$61.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -
3.2565 (2012 est.)
2.9629 (2011 est.)
3.0153 (2010 est.)
3.1214 (2009)
2.3 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
156.4 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 25

Electricity - consumption:
155 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 25

Electricity - exports:
6.61 billion kWh (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 24

Electricity - imports:
5.52 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
35.76 million kW (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 23

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
91.2% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 74

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
6.1% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
2.7% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 49

Crude oil - production:
12,090 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Crude oil - exports:
3,615 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 62

Crude oil - imports:
547,900 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 17

Crude oil - proved reserves:
155 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 66

Refined petroleum products - production:
636,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 28

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
576,600 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 30

Refined petroleum products - exports:
45,860 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61

Refined petroleum products - imports:
129,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 42

Natural gas - production:
6.247 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 49

Natural gas - consumption:
14.38 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 39

Natural gas - exports:
29 million cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 47

Natural gas - imports:
10.91 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 24

Natural gas - proved reserves:
95 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 55

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
309.9 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 20

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
6.853 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 27

Telephones - mobile cellular:
50.16 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 28

Telephone system:
General assessment: modernization of the telecommunications network has accelerated with market-based competition; fixed-line service, dominated by the former state-owned company, is dwarfed by the growth in mobile-cellular services
Domestic: mobile-cellular service available since 1993 and provided by three nation-wide networks with a fourth provider beginning operations in late 2006; coverage is generally good with some gaps in the east; fixed-line service lags in rural areas
International: country code - 48; international direct dialing with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 with access to Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik (2011)

Broadcast media:
state-run public TV operates 2 national channels supplemented by 16 regional channels and several niche channels; privately owned entities operate several national TV networks and a number of special interest channels; many privately owned channels broadcasting locally; roughly half of all households are linked to either satellite or cable TV systems providing access to foreign television networks; state-run public radio operates 5 national networks and 17 regional radio stations; 2 privately owned national radio networks, several commercial stations broadcasting to multiple cities, and many privately owned local radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:
.pl

Internet hosts:
13.265 million (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 12

Internet users:
22.452 million (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 19

Transportation

Airports:
126 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 47

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 87
Over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 36
914 to 1,523 m: 10
Under 914 m: 6 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 39
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 17
Under 914 m:
21 (2013)

Heliports:
6 (2013)

Pipelines:
gas 14,198 km; oil 1,374 km; refined products 777 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 19,428 km
Country comparison to the world: 15
Broad gauge: 399 km 1.524-m gauge
Standard gauge: 19,029 km 1.435-m gauge (11,805 km electrified) (2007)

Roadways:
Total: 423,997 km
Country comparison to the world: 15
Paved: 295,356 km (includes 765 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 128,641 km (2008)

Waterways:
3,997 km (navigable rivers and canals) (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 28

Merchant marine:
Total: 9
Country comparison to the world: 117
By type: cargo 7, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 1
Registered in other countries: 106 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Bahamas 34, Cyprus 24, Liberia 13, Malta 21, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3, Vanuatu 9) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Gdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie, Szczecin

Military

Military branches:
Polish Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Aviation Forces, Special Forces (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; service obligation shortened from 12 to 9 months in 2005; women only allowed to serve as officers and noncommissioned officers (2013)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 9,531,855
Females age 16-49: 9,298,593 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 7,817,556
Females age 16-49: 7,766,361 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 221,889
Female: 211,172 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 72

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its eastern borders with Belarus and Ukraine

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Refugees (country of origin): 14,938 (Russia) (2012)
Stateless persons: 10,825 (2012)

Illicit drugs:
despite diligent counternarcotics measures and international information sharing on cross-border crimes, a major illicit producer of synthetic drugs for the international market; minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe

Flag of Poland



Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; colors derive from the Polish emblem - a white eagle on a red field
note: similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white