Poland is a country in central Europe with a coastline on the Baltic Sea in north. The Republic of Poland is bordered by Germany in west, the Czech Republic in south west, Slovakia in south, Ukraine in south east, Belarus in east and Lithuania and Russia in north east. Poland shares maritime borders with Denmark and Sweden.
38.5 million people live in the country (in 2014); official language is Polish.
With an area of 312,685 km², the country is slightly larger than Italy or slightly smaller than the US country of New Mexico.
Poland has a population of 38.5 million (in 2014); official language is Polish. Largest city and capital is Warsaw.
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 state 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" (Solidarność) 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 became a full member of the EU on 1 May 2004.
Famous Polish person:
ASTRONOMER, SCIENTIST, MATHEMATICIAN (1473–1543)
PIANIST, COMPOSER (1810–1849)
John Paul II
PRESIDENT (NON-U.S.), ACTIVIST (1943–)