Geography of Poland

By | April 19, 2022

Poland is located between 14°08′ and 24°09′ East latitude and 54°50′ and 49°00′ North latitude. The length from south to north is 649 km, from west to east – 689 km.

Poland is washed from the north by the Baltic Sea. The length of the coastline is 788 km. The shores of the Baltic Sea are low, sandy, with dunes and spits separating lagoons and lakes. In the west, the Pomeranian Bay with the Szczecin Bay (area, including adjacent lakes, 466 km2), in the east, the Gdansk Bay with the Vistula Lagoon (area, including ports, 303 km2).

Poland borders: in the north and northeast with the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation (the length of the border is 210 km) and with Lithuania (103 km), in the east with Belarus (416 km) and Ukraine (528 km), in the south with Slovakia (541 km) and the Czech Republic (790 km), in the west with Germany (467 km). The length of land borders is 3055 km, sea borders are 440 km.

St. 90% of the territory is occupied by plains, most of which lies below 300 m of sea level. At the height of St. 1000 m lies 0.25% of the country’s territory.

In the southwest are the Sudeten Mountains (the highest point is Mount Snezhka, 1602 m), in the south and southwest – the Carpathians (with the highest point in Poland – Mount Rysy, 2499 m). Plains (Wielkopolska, Mazovia and Podlaskie lowlands) occupy a vast strip in the center of Poland. To the south is a belt of uplands (Silesian, Lesser Poland, Lublin) 300-600 m high, deeply dissected by rivers and ravines.

Explored reserves of coal (mainly in Silesia) are estimated at 45.4 million tons, brown coal (in the central and southwestern parts of the country) 14.0 billion tons, natural gas 142 billion m3, copper ores (in Lower Silesia) 2.5 billion tons, polymetallic ores 184 million tons.

In the north and northeast, large areas are occupied by heaths and peat bogs. On the plains sod-podzolic and pale-podzolic soils predominate, brown forest soils in the foothills, and chernozems on the piedmont plains; in the mountains – mountain brown, along the river valleys – alluvial soils.

According to bridgat, the climate is temperate, transitional from oceanic to continental, continentality increases from west to east, the western transport of moist and warm air dominates. The average January temperature on the coast and in the west is -1°С, in the central regions -3°С, in the mountains -6°С. The average July temperature is +16-17°C in the north, +18-19°C in the central regions, +10-14°C in the mountains. The annual rainfall in the plains is 500-700 mm, in the middle mountains 800-1200 mm, in the High Tatras up to 1800 mm.

The river network mainly belongs to the Baltic Sea basin. The largest rivers crossing the country from south to north are the Vistula (1047 km) and the Odra (742 km within Poland). The main tributaries of the Vistula are the Dunaets, the San, the Veps, the Bug with the Narew, the Pilica; Odra – Nysa-Luzhytska, Warta. There are St. 9000 lakes, most of which are located in the north of the country – in the Masurian and Pomeranian lakelands. The largest of them are Sniardvy (113.8 km2) and Mamry (104.4 km2). 58.8% of the country’s territory is used in agriculture, incl. 44.9% plowed up. Forests cover 28.9% of its territory. Significant forest tracts (the so-called forests) have been preserved in the northern and eastern regions of Poland (Belovezhskaya, Avgustovskaya, etc.).

Of the animal world, representatives of the forest fauna are the most characteristic. From predators – a wolf, a lynx, a fox, a badger, from ungulates – a roe deer, a wild boar, a deer, occasionally – an elk. The bisons and beavers, which were almost completely exterminated earlier, are now re-acclimatized. Capercaillie, black grouse, partridge are widespread. In the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea, cod and herring are of commercial importance.

Population of Poland

Population density 122 people. per 1 km2. Natural increase in the 1990s dropped sharply – from 4.1% in 1990 to 0.1% in 2001. The birth rate decreased from 14.3% in 1990 to 9.5% in 2001, the death rate – from 10.2 to 9.4%.

The average life expectancy for men is 68.8 years, for women – 77.5 years. Men make up 48.6% of the population, women – 51.4%. The proportion of the working-age population (males aged 18 to 64, females aged 18 to 59) increased from 57.5% in 1990 to 61.9% in 2001, and the number of non-working-age residents per 100 working-age residents decreased from 74 to 62. The retirement age is 65 for men and 60 for women. 61.7% of the country’s population lives in 880 cities, 38.3% in rural areas.

Poland is a country with a fairly homogeneous ethnic composition of the population – Poles. National minorities make up less than 5% of the total; the most numerous groups are Germans, Gypsies, Ukrainians and Belarusians; Jews, Lithuanians, Slovaks, and others also live.

By religion, the vast majority (about 95%) of the population are Catholics, other confessions (Protestants, Orthodox, Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.) account for approx. 5%.

Geography of Poland