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Poland is located in Central Europe to the east of Germany It is slightly smaller than New Mexico Poland is named after the Slavic tribe Polane The word polane in Slavic means field or plane This describes Polands terrain Most of Poland is covered with small planes and gently rolling hills Towards the south Poland is covered in mountains Historically Poland was an area of conflict because of its flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain Polish is the official language of Poland It contains a number of dialects in between Polish and German or Ukrainian The Polish language is written using the Latin alphabet In Poland during the mid 1900s more than forty Polish cities had a population of over 100000 inhabitants Five major cities have a population of over 500000 Warsaw is Polands capital and by far has the largest population During most of Polands history Poland was a highly multiethnic society which included Byelorussians Ukrainians Jews and Germans Territorial changes after World War II however changed the countries ethnic makeup Today Poland has a relatively small ethnic diversity 976 of Polands citizens are Poles 06 are Ukrainians 05 are Byelorussians and 13 are German There are also small communities of Slovaks Czechs Lithuanians and Russians There are 10 million Poles living outside of Poland The United States has the largest number of Polish citizens However Russia Germany France Canada Brazil Australia the United Kingdom and countries of the former Soviet Union also have sizable Polish communities Before World War II there were 3 million Jewish people living in Poland However the amount of Jewish residents in Poland communities decreased after World War II ended The Nazis killed more than 90 of Jewish Poles that lived in Poland at the time Those who survived left Poland and moved to Israel or to the west In the early 1990s it has been estimated that there were 10000 Jew
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