Poland is located in central Europe, to the east of Germany. The population is 38.2 million, of which 1.7 million live in the capital, Warsaw. The population is expected to fall to 37.6 million by 2030, while the proportion of people over 65 will increase from 19% to 35% over the same period. Polish is the official language. 90% of the population are Catholic. The official currency is the Zloty, which is worth approximately €0.24. The standard rate of VAT is 23%.

Poland                               Capital: Warsaw



38.2 million à 37.6 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 19% à 35% (2030)




90% Catholic

GDP / head (2010)

€ 9,300   (EU average: € 24,400)


Zloty (€0.24)



GDP growth (volume)



2.5% in 2012 (f)

2.8% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

10.2%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

3.9%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Poland has a GDP per capita of €9,300, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the OECD, the Polish economy grew by 4.2% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2012 and by 2.5% in 2013 (compared to the Eurozone average growth of 1.6%, 0.2% and 1.4% respectively). The inflation rate was 4.5% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 9.9%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Business dealings tend to be quite formal, but Poles like to get to know the people they are doing business with. Poles are known to be direct communicators but they are careful to avoid offending people. Companies usually operate on a hierarchical basis, and decision-making can often be protracted.