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Poland

free smsPoland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east, and the Baltic Sea, Russia (in the form of the Kaliningrad Oblast exclave) and Lithuania to the north. It also shares a maritime border with Denmark and Sweden. The total area of Poland is 312,683 sq km (120,728 sq mi) making it the 69th largest country in the world with population over 38.5 million people concentrated mainly in large cities, including the historical capital of Poland, Krakow, and the present capital, Warsaw.

The first Polish state was born in 966, within territory very similar to the present boundaries of Poland. Poland became a kingdom in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by uniting to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth collapsed in 1795, and the Poles were without a state for 123 years. Poland regained its independence in 1918 after World free message sms textWar I but lost it again in World War II, emerging several years later as a communist country within the Eastern Bloc under control of the former Soviet Union. In 1989 communist rule was overthrown and Poland became what is informally known as the "Third Polish Republic". Today, as the 6th most populated member state of the European Union, Poland is a liberal democracy made up of sixteen voivodeships (Polish: wojewodztwo). Poland is also a member of NATO, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization.

Principal cities

   City  Voivodeship  Inhabitants
May 20, 2002
Inhabitants
December 31, 2005
1 Warsaw (Warszawa) Masovia 1,671,670 1,697,596
2 Lodz Lodz 789,318 767,628
3 Krakow Lesser Poland 758,544 756,629
4 Wroclaw Lower Silesia 640,367 635,932
5 Poznan Greater Poland 578,886 567,882
6 Gdansk Pomerania 461,334 458,053
7 Szczecin Western Pomerania 415,399 411,119
8 Bydgoszcz Kuyavia-Pomerania 373,804 366,074
9 Lublin Lublin 357,110 354,967
10 Katowice Silesia 327,222 317,220
11 Bialystok Podlasie 291,383 294,864
12 Gdynia Pomerania 253,458 252,791
13 Czestochowa Silesia 258,436 246,890
14 Radom Masovia 229,699 227,018
15 Sosnowiec Silesia 232,622 226,034
16 Kielce Swietokrzyskie 212,429 208,193
17 Torun Kuyavia-Pomerania 211,243 208,007
18 Gliwice Silesia 203,814 199,451
19 Zabrze Silesia 195,293 191,247
20 Bytom Silesia 193,546 187,943
21 Bielsko-Biala Silesia 178,028 176,864
22 Olsztyn Warmia-Masuria 173,102 174,473
23 Rzeszow Subcarpathia 160,376 163,069
24 Ruda Slaska Silesia 150,595 146,582
25 Rybnik Silesia 142,731 141,580
26 Tychy Silesia 132,816 131,153
27 Dabrowa Gornicza Silesia 132,236 130,128
28 Opole Opole 129,946 128,268
29 Plock Masovia 128,361 127,461
30 Elblag Warmia-Masuria 128,134 127,275
31 Walbrzych Lower Silesia 130,268 126,465
32 Gorzow Wielkopolski Lubusz 125,914 125,416
33 Wloclawek Kuyavia-Pomerania 121,229 119,939
34 Tarnow Lesser Poland 119,913 117,560
35 Zielona Gora Lubusz 118,293 118,221
36 Chorzow Silesia 117,430 114,686
37 Kalisz Greater Poland 109,498 108,841
38 Koszalin Western Pomerania 108,709 107,886
39 Legnica Lower Silesia 107,100 105,750
40 Grudziadz Kuyavia-Pomerania 99,943 99,578
41 Slupsk Pomerania 100,376 98,695

   Agglomeration or conurbation  Voivodeship  Inhabitants
(Estimated, 2005)
1 Upper Silesian Industry Area Silesia 3,487,000
2 Warsaw (Warszawa) Masovia 2,679,000
3 Krakow Lesser Poland 1,400,000
4 Lodz Lodz 1,300,000
5 Tricity Pomerania 1,100,000
6 Wroclaw Lower Silesia 945,000
7 Poznan Greater Poland 855,000
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