Its northern frontier on the Baltic Sea gives it easy access to Scandinavian and North Sea ports. Poland’s shape is roughly square, measuring 400-440 miles across. The capital, Warsaw, is situated in the centre of the country. Poland’s surface area of 120,727 sq. miles ranks eighth in Europe.
The country lies almost entirely on the North European Plain and is a land of gentle relief, rarely rising above 350 feet except along the southern border with the Sudety and Carpathian mountain ranges. Rysy is the highest mountain peak, 8200 feet above sea level. The longest rivers which cross the country north-ward are the Vistula (667 miles in length) in the centre, and the Odra (530 miles) which flows along Poland’s western border.
The population of Poland, currently 38.4 million people. The cities are mostly small or medium sized. Some 43 cities have populations of more than 100,000 inhabitants. Warsaw, the capital and Poland’s largest metropolitan area, has a population of 1.7 million people.
The five other largest cities are: Łódź, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań and Gdańsk. The population of Polish communities abroad is estimated at 12 million, with the largest living in the USA (5.6 mn.), CIS (2.5 mn.), France (1 mn.), Germany (800,000), Canada (790,000), Brazil (200,000), Australia (150,000), and the UK (140,000).
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