National Day Celebration of the Republic of Poland
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, situated between the Baltic Sea in the north and two mountain ranges (the Sudetes and Carpathian Mountains) in the south. Bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres (120,726 sq mi), making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the 8th most populous country in Europe and the sixth most populous member of the European Union. Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, and its capital and largest city is Warsaw. Other metropolises include Kraków, Wroc?aw, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin.
Since the early 1990s, when the transition to a primarily market-based economy began, Poland has achieved a "very high" ranking on the Human Development Index, as well as improving economic freedom. Poland is a democratic country, which was categorised by the World Bank as having a high-income economy, and is ranked in the top 30 for standard of living. Furthermore, it is visited by approximately 16 million tourists every year (2014), which makes it the 16th most visited country in the world. Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union and was the 6th fastest growing economy on the continent between 2010 and 2015. According to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is ranked 19th in the list of the safest countries in the world to live in.