Poland is a republic of northeastern Europe, bordered on the east by Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, on the west by Germany, on the south by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and on the north by the Baltic Sea. However, its boundaries have changed many times over the centuries. It was settled by Slavic tribes in the 2nd millennium BCE, and over time saw incursions by Ostrogoths, Slavs, Huns and Avars. Many small states formed in the 9th century, until a united in kingdom emerged in 1025. It was part of the Polish-Lithuanian empire in the 15 and 16th centuries. It was subsequently invaded in turn by Tartars, Ottomans and Russians. Its territory shrank as it was overrun and partitioned by various European powers between the 18th and 20th centuries. Following World War II, it was dominated by the USSR and had a Communist government, which collapsed in 1989, to be followed by a Western-style democracy. The official language is Polish.

Quick Facts on Poland

Go Historic ID
38,185,913 (#37 in world) (2021 est.)
Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.3% (2011 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Polish 96.9%, Silesian 1.1%, German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 1.7% (2011 est.)
Catholic 85.9% (includes Roman Catholic 85.6% and Greek Catholic, Armenian Catholic, and Byzantine-Slavic Catholic .3%), Orthodox 1.3% (almost all are Polish Autocephalous Orthodox), Protestant 0.4% (mainly Augsburg Evangelical and Pentacostal), other 0.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon), unspecified 12.1% (2017 est.)