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Area: 312,683 sq. km. (120,725 sq. mi.); about the size of New Mexico.
Cities (2004): Capital--Warsaw (pop. 1,690,821). Other cities--Lodz (776,297), Krakow (757,957), Wroclaw (636,854), Poznan (573,003), Gdansk (460,524).
Terrain: Flat plain, except mountains along southern border.
Climate: Temperate continental.

Nationality: Noun--Pole(s). Adjective--Polish.
Population (December 2004): 38.6 million.
Annual growth rate: Unchanging.
Ethnic groups: Polish 98%, German, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Lithuanian.
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Eastern Orthodox, Uniate, Protestant, Judaism.
Language: Polish.
Education: Literacy--98%.
Health (2004): Infant mortality rate-- 7.4/1,000. Life expectancy--males 70 yrs., females 79 yrs.
Work force: 17.0 million. Industry and construction--25.3%; agriculture--28.7%; trade and business--28.0%; government and other--18.0%.

Type: Republic.
Constitution: The constitution now in effect was approved by a national referendum on May 25, 1997. The constitution codifies Poland's democratic norms and establishes checks and balances among the president, prime minister, and parliament. It also enhances several key elements of democracy, including judicial review and the legislative process, while continuing to guarantee the wide range of civil rights, such as the right to free speech, press, and assembly, which Poles have enjoyed since 1989.
Branches: Executive--head of state (president), head of government (prime minister). Legislative--bicameral National Assembly (lower house--Sejm, upper house--Senate). Judicial--Supreme Court, provincial and local courts, constitutional tribunal.
Administrative subdivisions: 16 provinces (voivodships).
Political parties (in Parliament): Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), Citizens Platform (PO), Self-Defense (SO), Law and Justice (PiS), Polish Peasant Party (PSL), League of Polish Families (LPR), Union of Labor (UP), and Social Democracy of Poland (SdPl).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

GDP (2004): $244 billion.
Real GDP growth (2004): 5.4%.
Per capita GDP (2004): $6,381.
Rate of inflation (2004): 3.5%.
Natural resources: Coal, copper, sulfur, natural gas, silver, lead, salt.
Agriculture: Products--grains, hogs, dairy, potatoes, horticulture, sugarbeets, oilseed.
Industry: Types--machine building, iron and steel, mining, shipbuilding, automobiles, furniture, textiles and apparel, chemicals, food processing, glass, beverages.
Trade (2004): Exports--$80.9 billion: furniture, cars, ships, coal, apparel. Imports--$87.1 billion: crude oil, passenger cars, pharmaceuticals, car parts, computers.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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