Demographics of Poland

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History

Nationalities

96.7% of the people of Poland claim Polish nationality and 97.8% declare to speak Polish at home (Census 2002). The population of Poland became one of the most ethnically homogeneous in the world as a result of the radically altered borders after World War II and the subsequent migrations.

Other than the Poles, Poland is also inhabited by:

  • Ukrainians, the largest minority group, are scattered in various eastern amd northern districts. There is new wave of Ukrainian immigration, now temporary with tendency to settle down in larger cities.
  • Lesser numbers of Belarusians and Lithuanians live in areas adjoining Belarus and Lithuania.
  • The Jewish community, almost entirely Polonized, has been greatly reduced from the 3,474,000 it once was. If not for the Holocaust they would probably make Poland's largest minority group. (See History of Jews in Poland)
  • In Silesia a significant segment of the population, of mixed Polish and German ancestry, tends to declare itself as Polish or German according to political circumstances.
  • Minorities of Germans remain in their little homeland of Pomerania, Silesia, East Prussia, and Lubus.
  • Small populations of Polish Tartars still exist and still practice Islam. Some Polish towns, mainly in northeastern Poland have mosques. Tartar arrived as mercenary soldiers beginning in the late 1300s. The Tartar population reached approximately 100,000 in 1630 but is less than 5,000 in 2000.
  • Armenian population is estimated at around 50 000, with tradition since 14th century. The remainders of pre-war Armenian church organizations serve for the new immigrants.

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

According to Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (the Polish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights) there are many numerous, autochthonous, ethnic groups inhabiting Poland. Specifically they estimate the presence of:

  • 450,000 to 1,100,000 Germans living mainly in the region of Opole, Katowice and Częstochowa (south-west part of Poland).
  • 250,000 to 500,000 Ukrainians At present, their most numerous concentrations are in the north-eastern part of Poland (Olsztyn and Elbląg), north-west (Słupsk and Koszalin) and south-west of Poland (Legnica and Breslau).
    • Including: 50,000 to 60,000 Lemko-Rusyns.
  • 200,000-250,000 Belarusians. They live in close concentrations on south and east area of Białystok.
  • 50,000-60,000 Roma. They are dispersed and live on the area of the whole country although their more numerous concentrations are in the south of Poland.
  • 15,000 - 25,000 Lithuanians in close concentrations, Suwałki in the north-east of Poland. They prevail on the territory of Puńsk commune where they constitute 80% of inhabitants.
  • 15,000 - 25,000 Slovaks. They inhabit two small frontier regions in the Spisz and Orawa (south of Poland, near Polish-Slovak border). Larger concentrations of Slovaks are in Krakow and Silesia region.
  • 13,000-15,000 Russians. This society includes also Old Believers who are members of the Eastern Old Believers' Church and account for 2-3 thousand persons living in south-east of Poland.
  • 7,000-15,000 Jews. Its representatives live mainly in large cities like Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. They avoid often to consider themselves as "national minority". The pre-Holocaust Jewish population was about 3,474,000.
  • 2,000 Czech. Their representatives inhabit south of Poland (region of Opole and Wałbrzych) and town of Zelów (central part of Poland)

There are also groups of Americans, Hungarians, French, Italians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Georgians, Africans, Palestinians, Kurds and Vietnamese who constitute small ethnic communities within major cities such as Warsaw and Krakow.

Interreg and Eurominority estimates

Estimates by INTEREG and Eurominority, paint a similar demographics picture of Poland but they provide estimates only for the most numerous of the autochthonous ethnic groups present.

According to INTEREG (1994), in Poland there are:

Eurominority estimates:

Eurominority estimates are of questionable reliability because they place Poland's population at over 43,500,000 which is unrealistic and supported by no other data.

Declared nationality (Census 2002)

 36,983,720 Polish
    774,885 Not specified
    471,475 Non-Polish, or multi-racial, including:
    173,153 Silesian
    152,897 German
     48,700 Belarusian
     31,000 Ukrainian
     12,900 Roma
      6,103 Russian  
      5,863 Lemko
      5,846 Lithuanian
      5,062 Kashubian
      4,500 Other (including Africans) 
      2,000 Slovak
      1,808 Vietnamese
      1,633 French
      1,541 American
      1,404 Greek
      1,367 Italian
      1,112 Bulgarian
      1,100 Israeli Jews
      1,082 Armenian
        831 Czech
        800 English
        500 Tatar
         45 Karaite

Biggest cities

See also: List of cities in Poland

Statistical indicators

Missing image
Poland-demography.png
Demographics of Poland, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Population: 38,626,349 (July 2004 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.02% (2004 est.)

Birth rate: 10.46 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)

Death rate: 9.97 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)

Total immigration: 7,000 migrants (2004)

Total emigration: -20,800 migrants (2004)

Total net migration: -13,800 migrants (2004)

Net migration rate: -0.49 migrants/1,000 population (2004 est.)

Total asylum seekers admited: 4,500 (2004)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.1%
15-64 years: 70%
65 years and over: 12.9% (2004 est.)

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.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
male: 70.4 years
female: 78.5 years (2004 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.38 children born/woman (2004 est.)

Ethnic groups: Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Byelorussian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other 2.7% (2004 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, other 5% (2004 est.)

Languages: Polish 97.8% (2002 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2004 est.)

Outside Links

Central Statistical Office for the Republic of Poland (http://www.stat.gov.pl/english/)

CIA World Factbook 2004 (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pl.html)

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (http://www.minelres.lv/reports/poland/poland_NGO.htm)


pl:Demografia Polski

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