Economy of Poland
Warsaw, central business district
CurrencyZłoty (PLN, zł)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
Country group
PopulationDecrease 38,179,800 (31 March 2021)[4]
  • Increase $748 billion (nominal, 2023 est.)[5]
  • Increase $1.644 trillion (PPP, 2023 est.)[5]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • Increase5.9% (2018)
    Increase4.5% (2019)
  • Decrease−2.0% (2020)
    Increase6.8% (2021)
    Increase4.9% (2022)[5]
GDP per capita
  • Increase $19,913 (nominal, 2023 est.)[5]
  • Increase $45,343 (PPP, 2023 est.)[5]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
  • 2.3% (2021e)[5]
  • 3.3% (2020e)[5]
  • 2.3% (2019)[5]
  • 1.6% (2018)[5]
Population below poverty line
  • Negative increase 15.4% (2018)[7]
  • Positive decrease 18.2% at risk of poverty or social exclusion (2019)[8]
Negative increase 28.5 low (2019, Eurostat)[9]
Labour force
  • Decrease 18,176,456 (2019)[12]
  • Increase 72.2% employment rate (Target: 71%; 2018)[13]
Labour force by occupation
  • Positive decrease 2.7% (May 2022)[15]
  • Positive decrease 9.5% youth unemployment (15 to 24 year-olds; July 2020)[16]
Average gross salary
PLN 6,779 / €1,426 monthly (July, 2021)
PLN 4,951 / €1,041 monthly (July, 2021)
Main industries
  • machine building
  • iron and steel
  • mining coal
  • chemicals
  • ship building
  • food processing
  • furniture
  • glass
  • beverages
  • textiles
Decrease 40th (very easy, 2020)[17]
ExportsIncrease $230 billion (2020 est.)[6]
Export goods
  • machinery and transport equipment 37.8%
  • intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%
  • miscellaneous manufactured articles 17.1%
  • food and live animals 7.6% (2012 est.)
Main export partners
ImportsIncrease $228 billion (2020 est.)[6]
Import goods
  • machinery and transport equipment 38.0%
  • intermediate manufactured goods 21.0%
  • chemicals 15.0%
  • minerals, fuels, lubricants and related materials 9.0% (2011 est.)
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • Increase $282.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[6]
  • Increase Abroad: $72.87 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[6]
Increase $1.584 billion (2017 est.)[6]
Positive decrease $241 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[6]
Public finances
  • Positive decrease 56.0% of GDP (2021)[20]
  • PLN 1.0 trillion (2019)[20]
  • PLN 16.8 billion deficit (2019)[20]
  • −0.7% of GDP (2019)[20]
Revenues41.3% of GDP (2019)[20]
Expenses42.0% of GDP (2019)[20]
Economic aid
Increase $166.05 billion (31 December 2021 est.)[6]

All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

The economy of Poland is an industrialized, mixed economy with a developed market that serves as the sixth-largest in the European Union by nominal GDP and fifth-largest by GDP (PPP).[27] Poland boasts the extensive public services characteristic of most developed economies. Since 1988, Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization but retained an advanced public welfare system. This includes universal free public healthcare and education (including tertiary), extensive provisions of free public childcare and parental leave. The country is considered by many to be a successful post-communist state. It is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank,[28] ranking 22nd worldwide in terms of GDP (PPP), 23rd in terms of GDP (nominal), and 23rd in the 2018 Economic Complexity Index.[29]

The largest component of Poland's economy is the service sector (62.3.%), followed by industry (34.2%) and agriculture (3.5%). Following the economic reform of 1989, Poland's external debt has increased from $42.2 billion in 1989 to $365.2 billion in 2014. Poland shipped US$224.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017, while exports increased to US$221.4 billion. The country's top export goods include machinery, electronic equipment, vehicles, furniture, and plastics. Poland was the only economy in the EU to avoid a recession through the 2007–08 economic downturn.[30]

As of 2019, the Polish economy had been growing steadily for 28 years, a record high in the EU. This record was only surpassed by Australia in the world economy.[31] GDP per capita at purchasing power parity has grown on average by 6% p.a. over the last 20 years, the highest in Central Europe. Poland's GDP has increased seven-fold since 1990.[32][33][3]


Estimated historical development of real GDP per capita in Poland, since 1400

Poland has seen the largest increase in GDP per capita (more than 100%) both among the former Eastern Bloc countries, and compared to the EU-15 (around 45%).[34] It has had uninterrupted economic growth since 1992, even after the financial crisis of 2007–2008.[35]

Before 1989

This article discusses the economy of post-1989 Poland. For a historical overview see:


The Polish state steadfastly pursued a policy of economic liberalization throughout the 1990s, with positive results for economic growth but negative results for some sectors of the population. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms[36] has encouraged the development of the private business sector, which has been the main drive for Poland's economic growth. The agricultural sector remained handicapped by structural problems, surplus labor, inefficient small farms, and a lack of investment. Restructuring and privatization of "sensitive sectors" (e.g. coal), has also been slow, but the foreign investments in energy and steel have begun to turn the tide. Also, reforms in health care, education, the pension system, and state administration have resulted in larger than expected fiscal pressures. Improving this account deficit and tightening monetary policy, with a focus on inflation, are priorities for the Polish government. Further progress in public finance depends mainly on the reduction of public sector employment, and an overhaul of the tax code to incorporate farmers, who currently pay significantly lower taxes than other people with similar income levels.

Since the 2009 financial crisis

Since the global recession of 2009, Poland's GDP continued to grow. In 2009, at the high point of the crisis, the GDP for the European Union as a whole dropped by 4.5% while Polish GDP increased by 1.6%. As of November 2013, the size of the EU's economy remains below the pre-crisis level, while Poland's economy increased by a cumulative 16%. The major reasons for its success appear to be a large internal market (in terms of population it is sixth in the EU) and a business-friendly political climate. The economic reforms implemented after the fall of socialism in the 1990s have also played a role; between 1989 and 2007 Poland's economy grew by 177%, faster than other countries in Eastern and Central Europe, while at the same time millions were left without work.[35]

However, the economic fluctuations of the business cycle did affect Poland's unemployment rate, which by early 2013 reached almost 11%. This level was still below European average and has begun falling subsequently.[37] As of October 2017, Poland's unemployment rate stood at 4.6% according to Eurostat.[38]

Economic growth

In the period from 1989 to 2018, Poland's GDP increased by 826.96% and it was the best result in Europe. In the same period, Ireland's GDP grew by 789.43%, Slovakia's by 783.83% and the Czech Republic by 549.47%. In 1990, the Polish national income amounted to USD 65.978 billion, and by 2017 it had increased to USD 524.5 billion. Achieving these results was possible thanks to the privatization of state-owned enterprises, the development of private entrepreneurship, but also the rapid increase in work efficiency and openness to foreign direct investments. In 2018, the Polish economy grew by 5.1% compared to 4.8% in 2017.[39] Economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 in Poland amounted to 4.9% on an annual basis and compared to the third quarter, where GDP increased by 5.1%, it was slightly lower. During this period, investments increased by 6.7%, private consumption also increased by 4.3%, and domestic demand increased by 4.8%.[40] The PMI index in January 2019 was 48.2 points. and was higher than in December 2018 when it amounted to 47.6 points.[41]

Economic nationalism and Repolonisation

Since 2015, under the Law and Justice (PiS) government, Poland has seen a growing wave of economic nationalism, with state-owned PZU in 2015 agreeing to buy a 25.3-percent stake in Alior Bank;[42][43] PZU, together with the Polish Development Fund, buying a 32.8% stake in Bank Pekao by UniCredit in 2017; state-owned PKN Orlen merging with its fellow state-run utility Energa in 2020; Lotos in 2022 and further plans to take over smaller rival PGNiG. The minister also suggested Poland should have greater control over the economy.[44][45][46]

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the Law and Justice party, said in 2022 that the Polish government might buy PKP Energetyka and Żabka convenience store from CVC Capital Partners.[47][48]


The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2021 (with IMF staff estimates in 2022–2027). Inflation under 5% is in green. [49]

Year GDP

(in Bil. US$PPP)

GDP per capita

(in US$ PPP)


(in Bil. US$nominal)

GDP per capita

(in US$ nominal)

GDP growth


Inflation rate

(in Percent)


(in Percent)

Government debt

(in % of GDP)

1980 171.6 4,823.8 56.7 1,595.0 Decrease-6.0% Negative increase9.4% n/a n/a
1981 Decrease169.0 Decrease4,709.8 Decrease53.8 Decrease1,497.8 Decrease-10.0% Negative increase21.2% n/a n/a
1982 Increase170.8 Increase4,715.1 Increase65.3 Increase1,803.5 Decrease-4.8% Negative increase100.8% n/a n/a
1983 Increase187.4 Increase5,101.7 Increase75.6 Increase2,057.0 Increase5.6% Negative increase22.1% n/a n/a
1984 Increase193.4 Increase5,221.3 Increase75.7 Decrease2,042.0 Decrease-0.4% Negative increase75.6% n/a n/a
1985 Increase207.3 Increase5,552.7 Decrease70.9 Decrease1,899.8 Increase3.9% Negative increase15.1% n/a n/a
1986 Increase218.8 Increase5,826.4 Increase73.8 Increase1,965.5 Increase3.5% Negative increase17.8% n/a n/a
1987 Increase229.4 Increase6,076.9 Decrease63.8 Decrease1,691.1 Increase2.3% Negative increase25.2% n/a n/a
1988 Increase245.3 Increase6,491.7 Increase68.7 Increase1,819.4 Increase3.3% Negative increase60.2% n/a n/a
1989 Increase264.6 Increase6,996.4 Decrease67.0 Decrease1,772.1 Increase3.8% Negative increase251.1% n/a n/a
1990 Decrease254.8 Decrease6,673.9 Decrease62.2 Decrease1,629.0 Decrease-7.2% Negative increase585.8% 6.3% n/a
1991 Decrease245.0 Decrease6,399.5 Increase80.6 Increase2,105.5 Decrease-7.0% Negative increase70.3% Negative increase11.8% n/a
1992 Increase255.7 Increase6,661.0 Increase88.9 Increase2,315.6 Increase2.0% Negative increase43.0% Negative increase13.6% n/a
1993 Increase273.0 Increase7,089.9 Increase90.5 Increase2,351.7 Increase4.3% Negative increase35.3% Negative increase16.4% n/a
1994 Increase293.4 Increase7,604.9 Increase103.9 Increase2,692.7 Increase5.2% Negative increase32.2% Positive decrease11.4% n/a
1995 Increase319.7 Increase8,286.8 Increase139.4 Increase3,612.3 Increase6.7% Negative increase27.9% Negative increase13.3% 48.7%
1996 Increase345.9 Increase8,958.4 Increase157.0 Increase4,066.2 Increase6.2% Negative increase19.9% Positive decrease12.3% Positive decrease43.1%
1997 Increase376.8 Increase9,751.0 Increase157.5 Increase4,076.0 Increase7.1% Negative increase14.9% Positive decrease11.2% Positive decrease42.7%
1998 Increase400.0 Increase10,346.5 Increase172.4 Increase4,459.1 Increase5.0% Negative increase11.8% Positive decrease10.6% Positive decrease38.7%
1999 Increase424.0 Increase10,965.0 Decrease168.1 Decrease4,348.1 Increase4.5% Negative increase7.3% Negative increase13.1% Negative increase39.3%
2000 Increase452.1 Increase11,814.4 Increase171.6 Increase4,485.1 Increase4.3% Negative increase10.1% Negative increase16.1% Positive decrease36.4%
2001 Increase467.8 Increase12,229.2 Increase190.8 Increase4,987.9 Increase1.2% Negative increase5.5% Negative increase18.2% Negative increase37.1%
2002 Increase482.0 Increase12,602.9 Increase199.1 Increase5,205.5 Increase1.4% Increase1.9% Negative increase20.2% Negative increase41.5%
2003 Increase508.7 Increase13,309.5 Increase217.8 Increase5,699.6 Increase3.5% Increase0.7% Positive decrease19.9% Negative increase46.4%
2004 Increase548.4 Increase14,358.3 Increase255.3 Increase6,684.7 Increase5.0% Increase3.5% Positive decrease19.3% Positive decrease45.1%
2005 Increase585.4 Increase15,334.6 Increase306.3 Increase8,023.9 Increase3.5% Increase2.2% Positive decrease18.1% Negative increase46.6%
2006 Increase640.4 Increase16,784.3 Increase344.6 Increase9,031.8 Increase6.1% Increase1.2% Positive decrease14.2% Negative increase47.3%
2007 Increase704.2 Increase18,470.5 Increase429.0 Increase11,252.9 Increase7.1% Increase2.5% Positive decrease9.9% Positive decrease44.5%
2008 Increase747.8 Increase19,620.4 Increase533.6 Increase13,999.5 Increase4.2% Increase4.3% Positive decrease7.5% Negative increase46.7%
2009 Increase774.0 Increase20,294.6 Decrease439.8 Decrease11,532.3 Increase2.8% Increase3.8% Negative increase8.5% Negative increase49.8%
2010 Increase812.6 Increase21,370.1 Increase479.8 Increase12,619.6 Increase3.7% Increase2.6% Negative increase10.0% Negative increase53.5%
2011 Increase868.9 Increase22,828.0 Increase528.3 Increase13,879.5 Increase4.8% Increase4.2% Positive decrease9.9% Negative increase54.7%
2012 Increase903.8 Increase23,745.3 Decrease498.5 Decrease13,096.9 Increase1.3% Increase3.7% Negative increase10.4% Positive decrease54.4%
2013 Increase934.6 Increase24,553.1 Increase521.0 Increase13,688.4 Increase1.1% Increase1.1% Negative increase10.6% Negative increase56.5%
2014 Increase968.4 Increase25,471.4 Increase542.6 Increase14,272.3 Increase3.4% Increase0.1% Positive decrease9.2% Positive decrease51.1%
2015 Increase1,020.7 Increase26,855.7 Decrease477.5 Decrease12,563.6 Increase4.2% Increase-0.9% Positive decrease7.7% Negative increase51.3%
2016 Increase1,075.3 Increase28,321.4 Decrease472.3 Decrease12,438.5 Increase3.1% Increase-0.7% Positive decrease6.3% Negative increase54.2%
2017 Increase1,145.3 Increase30,161.6 Increase526.6 Increase13,868.9 Increase4.8% Increase2.0% Positive decrease5.0% Positive decrease50.6%
2018 Increase1,235.5 Increase32,532.2 Increase587.4 Increase15,468.3 Increase5.9% Increase1.8% Positive decrease3.9% Positive decrease48.8%
2019 Increase1,317.2 Increase34,689.0 Increase597.2 Increase15,726.9 Increase4.5% Increase2.2% Positive decrease3.3% Positive decrease45.6%
2020 Decrease1,303.8 Decrease34,347.9 Increase599.8 Increase15,801.6 Decrease-2.0% Increase3.4% Positive decrease3.2% Negative increase57.1%
2021 Increase1,437.8 Increase37,997.0 Increase679.1 Increase17,945.8 Increase6.9% Negative increase5.1% Negative increase3.4% Positive decrease53.8%
2022 Increase1,599.0 Increase42,465.9 Increase716.3 Increase19,023.2 Increase5.1% Negative increase14.4% Positive decrease2.8% Positive decrease48.7%
2023 Increase1,664.2 Increase44,249.4 Increase753.9 Increase20,045.2 Increase0.5% Negative increase14.3% Negative increase3.2% Positive decrease45.1%
2024 Increase1,752.3 Increase46,660.7 Increase811.2 Increase21,600.6 Increase3.1% Increase4.3% Negative increase3.4% Negative increase46.2%
2025 Increase1,845.4 Increase49,223.1 Increase875.1 Increase23,342.8 Increase3.4% Increase3.2% Steady3.4% Negative increase47.3%
2026 Increase1,942.7 Increase51,920.3 Increase924.8 Increase24,715.4 Increase3.3% Increase2.6% Steady3.4% Negative increase48.6%
2027 Increase2,041.9 Increase54,680.4 Increase979.3 Increase26,225.9 Increase3.1% Increase2.5% Steady3.4% Negative increase49.9%

Labour market and wages

See also: Unemployment in Poland

GDP (PPP) of Poland
Unemployment rate in Poland in 1997-2014
Minimum wages in Euros per month. Data for former Eastern Bloc countries in Europe.

Unemployment in Poland became a major problem after the fall of socialism, although the economy previously had high levels of hidden unemployment[citation needed]. The unemployment rate then fell to 10% by the late 1990s and then increased again in the first few years of the 21st century, reaching a peak of 20% in 2002. It has since decreased, although unevenly. Since 2008 the unemployment rate in Poland has consistently been below European average.[50]

The rate fell below 8% in 2015 and[51] 3.2% in 2019[52] leading to a labor deficit.[53]

Foreign trade and FDI

With the collapse of the rouble-based COMECON trade bloc in 1991, Poland reoriented its trade. As early as 1996, 70% of its trade was with EU members. Neighboring Germany is Poland's main trading partner today. Poland joined the European Union in May 2004. Before that, it fostered regional integration and trade through the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which included Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Poland is a founding member of the World Trade Organization.[54] As a member of the European Union, it applies the common external tariff to goods from other countries including the United States. Poland's major imports are capital goods needed for industrial retooling and for manufacturing inputs. The country's exports also include machinery but are highly diversified. The most successful exports are furniture, foods,[55] motor boats, light planes, hardwood products, casual clothing, shoes and cosmetics.[56] Germany is by far the biggest importer of Poland's exports as of 2013.[57] In the agricultural sector, the biggest money-makers abroad include smoked and fresh fish, fine chocolate, and dairy products, meats and specialty breads,[58] with the exchange rate conducive to export growth.[59] Food exports amounted to 62 billion złoty in 2011, increasing by 17% from 2010.[60] Most Polish exports to the U.S. receive tariff benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Poland ranks in the top 20 in the world both in terms of exports[61] and imports,[62] recording a clear trade surplus.

2020 top trading partners for Poland (millions of EUR)[63][64]
Rank Country Total trade Exports Imports
1 European Union Germany 119,608 69,427 50,181
2  China 36,021 2,979 33,042
3 European Union Italy 22,161 10,375 11,786
4 European Union France 21,373 13,452 7,921
5 European Union Czechia 21,369 14,063 7,306
6 European Union Netherlands 19,355 10,236 9,119
7  United Kingdom 18,653 13,725 4,928
8  Russia 17,372 7,157 10,216
9  United States 13,911 6,729 7,183
10 European Union Spain 11,177 6,084 5,093
11 European Union Belgium 10,937 5,689 5,248
12 European Union Sweden 10,731 7,029 3,702
13 European Union Slovakia 10,235 6,014 4,221
14 European Union Hungary 9,792 6,094 3,698
15 European Union Austria 8,611 4,827 3,784
16  Ukraine 7,853 5,259 2,593
17 European Union Romania 7,233 5,038 2,194
18 European Union Denmark 6,805 4,048 2,757
19  Turkey 6,212 2,232 3,980
20  South Korea 6,134 649 5,485
Others 83,713 38,775 44,938
Total 469,254 239,880 229,374

Poland is less dependent on external trade than most other Central and Eastern European countries, but its volume of trade with Europe is still substantial. In 2011 the volume of trade (exports plus imports) with the Euro area as share of GDP was 40%, a doubling from the mid 1990s. 30% of Poland's exports are to Germany and another 30% to the rest of Europe. There has been substantial increase in Poland's exports to Russia.[65] However, in August 2014, exports of fruits and vegetables to Russia fell dramatically following its politically motivated ban by Moscow.[66]

Foreign direct investment (FDI) was at 40% of GDP in 2010, a doubling over the level in 2000. Most FDI into Poland comes from France, Germany and the Netherlands. Polish firms in turn have foreign investments primarily in Italy and Luxembourg. Most of the internal FDI is in manufacturing, which makes it susceptible to economic fluctuations in the source countries.[65]

The UAE is Poland's largest trading partner in the Arab world.[67]

The government offers investors various forms of state aid, such as CIT tax at the level of 19% and investment incentives in 14 Special Economic Zones (among others: income tax exemption, real estate tax exemption, competitive land prices), several industrial and technology parks, the possibility to benefit from the EU structural funds, brownfield and greenfield locations. According to the National Bank of Poland (NBP), the level of FDI inflow into Poland in 2006 amounted to €13.9 billion.

According to an Ernst & Young report, Poland ranks 7th in the world in terms of investment attractiveness. However, Ernst & Young's 2010 European attractiveness survey reported that Poland saw a 52% decrease in FDI job creation and a 42% decrease in number of FDI projects since 2008.[68] According to the OECD ( report, in 2004 Poles were one of the hardest-working nations in Europe. 2010 the World Economic Forum ranked Poland near the bottom of OECD countries in terms of the clarity, efficiency and neutrality of the legal framework used by firms to settle disputes.[69]


Production industries

See also: Automotive industry in Poland

Warsaw Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in East and Central Europe.
PKN Orlen is among the largest companies in Europe.
Port of Gdynia is one of Poland's principal seaports.
Main Market Square in Kraków
Head Office of Financial Supervision Authority in Warsaw
Polish Development Fund, established in April 2016

Before World War II, Poland's industrial base was concentrated in the coal, textile, chemical, machinery, iron, and steel sectors. Today it extends to fertilizers, petrochemicals, machine tools, electrical machinery, electronics, car manufacture and shipbuilding.

Poland's industrial base suffered greatly during World War II, and many resources were directed toward reconstruction. The socialist economic system imposed in the late 1940s created large and unwieldy economic structures[70] operated under a tight central command. In part because of this systemic rigidity, the economy performed poorly even in comparison with other economies in Central Europe.[70]

In 1990, the Tadeusz Mazowiecki government began a comprehensive reform programme to replace the centralised command economy with a market-oriented system. While the results overall have been impressive, many large state-owned industrial enterprises, particularly the rail, mining, steel, and defence sectors, have remained resistant to change and the downsizing required to survive in a market-based economy.[70]


Main article: Energy in Poland


The total value of the Polish pharmacy market in 2008 was PLN 24.1bn, 11.5% more than in 2007.[71]

The non-prescription medicines market, which accounts for about one-third of the total market value, was worth PLN 7.5bn in 2008. This value includes drugs and non-drugs such as dietary supplements, cosmetics, dressings, dental materials, diagnostic tests and medical devices. The prescription medicines market was worth PLN 15.8bn.[72]


In 2019, the country was the 3rd largest world producer of rhenium;[73] 5th largest producer of silver in the world;[74] the 12th largest producer of copper;[75] the world's 14th largest producer of sulfur;[76] in addition to being the world's 14th largest producer of salt.[77]


Main article: Agriculture in Poland

Agriculture employs 8.2% of the workforce but contributes 3.8% to the gross domestic product (GDP), reflecting relatively low productivity. Unlike the industrial sector, Poland's agricultural sector remained largely in private hands during the decades of real socialist rule. Most of the former state farms are now leased to farmer tenants. Lack of credit is hampering efforts to sell former state farmland. Currently, Poland's 2 million private farms occupy 90% of all farmland and account for roughly the same percentage of total agricultural production. Farms are small—8 hectares on average—and often fragmented. Farms with an area exceeding 15 ha accounted for 9% of the total number of farms but cover 45% of total agricultural area. Over half of all farm households in Poland produce only for their own needs with little, if any, commercial sales.

Poland is a net exporter of processed fruit and vegetables, meat, and dairy products. Processors often rely on imports to supplement domestic supplies of wheat, feed grains, vegetable oil, and protein meals, which are generally insufficient to meet domestic demand. However, Poland is the leading EU producer of potatoes and rye and is one of the world's largest producers of sugar beets and triticale. Poland also is a significant producer of rapeseed, grains, hogs, and cattle. Poland is the sixth-largest producer and exporter of apples in the entire world.[78]


Main article: Tourism in Poland

Poland, especially after joining the European Union in 2004, became a place frequently visited by tourists. Most tourist attractions in Poland are connected with natural environment, historic sites and cultural events. They draw millions of tourists every year from all around the world. According to Tourist Institute's data, Poland was visited by 15.7 million tourists in 2006, and by 15 million tourists in 2007,[79] out of the total number of 66.2 million foreign visitors.[80] In 2016 the number of arrivals to Poland amounted to 80.5 million. 17.5 million of this number are arrivals considered for tourism purposes (with at least one night's stay), making it the 16th most visited country in the world.[81] The most popular cities are Kraków, Warsaw, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin, Lublin, Toruń, Sopot, Zakopane and the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The best recreational destinations include Poland's Masurian Lake District, Baltic Sea coast, Tatra Mountains (the highest mountain range of Carpathians), Sudetes and Białowieża Forest. Poland's main tourist offers consist of sightseeing within cities and out-of-town historical monuments, business trips, qualified tourism, agrotourism, mountain hiking (trekking) and climbing among others.

Financial sector

The Polish banking sector is regulated by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA).

While transforming the country to a market-oriented economy during 1992–97, the government privatized some banks, recapitalized the rest and introduced legal reforms that made the sector competitive. These reforms, and the health and relative stability of the sector, attracted a number of strategic foreign investors. At the beginning of 2009, Poland's banking sector had 51 domestic banks, a network of 578 cooperative banks and 18 branches of foreign-owned banks. In addition, foreign investors had controlling stakes in nearly 40 commercial banks, which made up 68% of the banking capital.[82] Banks in Poland reacted to the financial crisis of 2009 by restraining lending, raising interest rates, and strengthening balance sheets. Subsequently, the sector started lending again, with an increase of more than 4% expected in 2011.

Venture capital

See also: Venture capital in Poland

The segment of the private equity market that finances early-stage high-risk companies, with the potential for fast growth, 130 active firms in Poland (as of March 2019). Between 2009 and 2019, these entities have invested locally in over 750 companies, an average of 9 companies per portfolio. Since 2016, new legal institutions have been established for entities implementing investments in enterprises in the seed or startup phase. In 2018, venture capital funds invested €178M in Polish startups (0.033% of GDP). As of March 2019, total assets managed by VC companies operating in Poland are estimated at €2.6B. The total value of investments of the Polish VC market is worth €209.2M.[83]


PKP Intercity ED250 Pendolino at Wrocław Main Station

Poland is served by an extensive network of railways. In most cities, the main railway station is located near a city centre and is well connected to the local transportation system. The infrastructure is operated by Polish State Railways, part of state-run PKP Group. The rail network is very dense in western and northern Poland, while the eastern part of the country is less developed. The capital city, Warsaw, has the country's only rapid transit system: the Warsaw Metro.

Poland's busiest airport is the Warsaw Chopin Airport. Warsaw Chopin serves as the main international hub for Poland's flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines. In addition to Warsaw Chopin, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków and Poznań all have international airports. In preparation for the Euro 2012 football championships jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, a number of airports around the country were renovated and redeveloped. This included the building of new terminals with an increased number of jetways and stands at both Copernicus Airport in Wrocław and Lech Wałęsa Airport in Gdańsk.

Poland has 412,264 km (256,170 mi) of public roads. Polish public roads are categorized by administrative division, which include national roads, voivodeship roads, Powiat roads and Gmina roads. Motorways and expressways are part of the national road network. As of January 2020, there are 4000 km of motorways and expressways in use.[84]

Major companies in Poland

See also: List of companies of Poland and List of largest Polish companies

Selection of major Polish companies including from the list of 500 largest companies in Poland compiled by magazine Polityka:[85]


Main articles: Polish zloty and Poland and the euro

Budget and debt

Public debt level of Poland in % of GDP

The public and private debt levels of Poland are below the European average (2017).

GDP growth in Poland

Poland Products Export Treemap (2019)

Recent GDP growth (comparing to the same quarter of previous year):[86]

Year Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Overall
2022 8.5% 5.5% 3.5%
2021 -0.9% 11.1% 5.8% 7.3% 5.9%
2020 2.0% -8.3% -1.7% -2.7% -2.2%
2019 5.5% 5.4% 4.6% 3.7% 4.8%
2018 5.2% 5.3% 5.2% 4.9% 5.2%
2017 4.6% 4.3% 5.5% 5.1% 4.9%
2016 3.1% 3.4% 2.8% 2.8% 3.0%
2015 3.8% 3.3% 3.6% 4.6% 3.8%
2014 3.1% 3.3% 3.4% 3.3% 3.3%
2013 0.1% 0.6% 1.9% 2.7% 1.3%
2012 3.3% 2.3% 1.0% 0.2% 1.7%
2011 4.9% 4.8% 5.0% 5.3% 5.0%
2010 2.1% 3.6% 4.0% 4.8% 3.6%
2009 1.5% 1.9% 2.7% 4.2% 2.6%
2008 5.5% 4.9% 3.7% 1.9% 4.0%
2007 7.7% 7.3% 6.9% 6.9% 7.2%
2006 5.6% 6.3% 6.5% 6.3% 6.2%
2005 2.2% 2.8% 4.3% 4.8% 3.5%
2004 7.0% 5.7% 4.6% 3.6% 5.2%
2003 1.8% 3.6% 4.0% 4.6% 3.5%
2002 0.6% 0.9% 1.9% 2.2% 1.4%
2001 2.4% 1.2% 1.0% 0.5% 1.3%
2000 6.1% 5.4% 3.3% 2.7% 4.4%
1999 2.2% 3.5% 5.4% 6.6% 4.4%
1998 6.6% 5.4% 5.0% 3.2% 5.1%
1997 7.1% 7.7% 7.0% 6.6% 7.1%
1996 3.5% 5.7% 7.4% 8.1% 6.2%


Poland has a very good location for transporting locally made components or products to the rest of Europe. For example, when moving production from China, the new factory in Poland can move their goods in 24 hours to most populated parts of Europe, and in 48 hours to all Europe.[87]

The potential of Polish economy in the EU

Poland, measured by the purchasing power parity index, is the sixth-largest economy in the European Union and the eighth-largest economy in Europe, slightly ahead of the Netherlands.

Poland recorded GDP growth even during the 2008–09 financial crisis.[88] More than half of Poles who are economically active have a job (56%).[citation needed]

Although the Polish economy is catching up with the countries of Western Europe, this process is progressing slowly. So far, taking into account the level of social development, Poland has managed to overtake Portugal. There is a great deal of variation between regions. Masovian voivodeship is on a similar level to the richest regions of Spain and most regions of France (82% of the EU average). However, it should be remembered that the GDP of this voivodeship is mainly generated by Warsaw. Lower Silesian voivodeship with a GDP of $16,000 is on par with Portugal and the regions of Spain and Greece. Subsequent voivodeships reached about 50% of the EU average, and the poorest voivodships of the eastern wall have GDP per capita comparable to Romania and Bulgaria.

Polish capital has several large concerns in this region of Europe, i.e. PKN Orlen, which has its stations in Germany and Lithuania, Polsat, which also invests in Lithuania, the ITI Group. Poland has a highly developed road network, most of the A1, A2, A4 highways and expressways, including S6 and S7, are fully completed. The next ones are to be ready by 2023. Their construction by private companies is financed in part by the European Union. In the coming years, Poland is to receive approximately EUR 4.5 billion for the modernization of railways.

Poland is one of the key immigration destinations in the EU, having attracted more non-EU immigrants than any other EU country for a few consecutive years.[89]

International rankings

World map
World map representing Human Development Index categories (based on 2019 data, published in 2020)
  Very high (≥ 0.800)
  High (0.700–0.799)
  Medium (0.550–0.699)
  Low (≤ 0.549)
  Data unavailable

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