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Poland

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Poland (Polish: Polska), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska; Kashubian: Pòlskô Repùblika), is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; Czechia, Slovakia and Romania to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and Lithuania, Latvia and the Baltic Sea to the north. The total area of Poland is 426,715 square kilometres (164,755 sq mi), making it the 4th largest in Europe. Poland has a population of over 51 million people, which makes it the fifth most populous country in Europe. Poland is a unitary state made up of 19 voivodeships. Poland has a nominal gross domestic product of £1.323 trillion pounds and a GDP per capita of £25,837 pounds.

The establishment of a Polish state is often identified with the adoption of Christianity by its ruler Mieszko I in 966, over the territory similar to that of present-day Poland. The Kingdom of Poland was formed in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin, forming the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth ceased to exist in 1795 as the Polish lands were partitioned among the Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. Poland regained its independence as the Second Polish Republic in 1918. Two decades later, in September 1939, World War II started with the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). Over six million Polish citizens died in the war. Poland reemerged several years later with the Allied victory.

Despite the vast destruction the country experienced in World War II, Poland managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth. There are currently 14 heritage sites inscribed on the World Heritage list in Poland. Poland has achieved a "very high" ranking in terms of human development.

Poland is a member of the League of Nations, European Economic Community, Allied Pact and Council of the Baltic Sea States, as well as other organizations.

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