Planning comms marketing activities in Poland? Here’s everything you need to know about this market to get started. Read our summary of the most important data for Poland.
Table of contents:
- Population of Poland – general data
- Education of Poles
- Poles on the labour market
- Consumer behaviour of Poles
- Polish companies
- The Polish economy compared to the European Union
- Strategic economic sectors
- Economic forecasts
Population of Poland – general data
Poland‘s population at the end of 2022 was 37,767,000 – down 141,000 on the previous year. This decline has continued uninterrupted since 2012. 48.4% of the Polish population is male and 51.6% female. 29.1% of the Polish population is single, 54.0% married, 7.6% divorced and 8.5% widowed.
The birth rate is -188,006. 2022 saw the lowest birth rate since World War II. The projected population of Poland in 2050 is 33,950,000. The average age of the Polish population is 42.2 years.
According to official records, more Poles are returning to Poland than leaving it. Over the past year, 15,409 people registered from abroad. 12,005 de-registrations abroad were also recorded. However, these figures do not include people who leave temporarily, without officially registering in another country.
Poland has an area of 312,706 km2 and ranks sixth among all European Union countries. Most Poles live in urban areas (59.7% of the total). The largest number of inhabitants live in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship (5,479,294), where the capital city, Warsaw, is located. This is as much as 14.8% of the total population.
Education of Poles
A steady increase in the educational level of the population has already been observed since 2001. The dominant position in the structure of the population according to the level of education is occupied by secondary school graduates (32.4%) In this group, the highest share is held by people with secondary vocational education (18.2%). Over the past 10 years, the share of people with primary education (currently 11.7%) and those with lower secondary education (3.1%) has decreased. In 2021, only 5.9% of young people aged 18-24 did not continue their education after leaving school.
In 2021, the percentage of people with at least secondary education reached 55.5% (in 2011, it was 48.5%). Almost 41% of young Poles between the ages of 25 and 34 could boast a tertiary education, a result close to the EU average. The structure of the population by level of education differs by gender. 19.0% of all men and 26.9% of women have completed tertiary education.
Poles on the labour market
Currently, there are 18.2% of people of pre-productive age (0-17 years), 59.2% of people of working age (18-64) and 22.6% of people of post-productive age (65+). In recent years, the proportion of people of pre-productive age and of working age has been steadily decreasing, while the proportion of people of post-productive age has been increasing.
The employment rate for people of working age is 76% and the unemployment rate is 3.5%. 82.9% of Poles aged 25-34, 87% of those aged 35-44 and 84.1% of those aged 45-54 are employed. Around 15 million people work in Poland. Most of them are employed in industry (21.6% of the total workforce).
The average gross monthly salary is PLN 5,662, with PLN 6,509 in the public sector and PLN 5,448 in the private sector. The average pension from the social security system in Poland is PLN 2,623, and for individual farmers it is PLN 1,428. In 2021, gross real disposable income in households increased by 71.3% compared to 2000.
Consumer behaviour of Poles
When shopping, Poles place quality in first place (79.8%), followed by the price of products or services (75.8%). As slightly less important factors, Poles point to packaging (26%), quality marks on the product (24.4%), ecological values (20.6%) and the country of origin of the goods (17.3%.).
Polish consumers are increasingly aware and demanding. More and more people are reading labels, analysing ingredients and reading the opinions of others before buying. Poles are demanding more from producers in terms of packaging, quality certificates and brand image on the Internet.
However, the price of a product is still an important factor influencing purchasing decisions. Poles want to purchase products and services of the highest possible quality, but for an amount within their acceptable limits. 47.7% of Poles declare that during an economic crisis they choose products at a lower price and 40.8% buy less.
Poles are showing economic patriotism and trying to support the domestic economy. For several years there has been a fashion for buying Polish products and supporting local companies. As many as 78.3% admit that, given the choice, they reach for products of Polish origin.
The number of enterprises in Poland has been increasing for several years. In 2020, the numbers exceeded 2 million. Most of them are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME sector) that account for as much as 99.8% of all companies. The share of large companies in the structure of Polish enterprises is only 0.2% (3.7 thousand).
The most numerous group among SMEs are companies from the service sector (53.0%). One in five companies operates in trade (21.6%) and almost one in seven in construction (15.5%). Every tenth company (10.0%) operates in industry. In contrast, more than half (51.6%) of large companies are active in industry. Much less common are services (31.1%), trade (13.7%) and construction (3.6%).
The largest number of new companies is being set up in the following sectors: construction (19.8% of all new companies), trade and repair of motor vehicles (16.2%), professional, scientific and technical activities (11.2%), information and communication (8.3%) and manufacturing (6.9%).
The Polish economy compared to the European Union
Poland is the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe and the sixth largest in Europe. The economy has been growing at a steady pace for more than 25 years. It is currently the sixth largest economy in the EU. The main pillars of Poland’s economic growth are exports and domestic consumption.
In the second quarter of 2022, Poland ranked first in the EU in terms of GDP decline. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 4.2% in the EU. In annual terms, the Polish economy grew at a rate of 4.5%.
The Polish economy is becoming increasingly integrated into the global economy. Polish companies are strongly integrated into European production chains. In 2022, the value of Polish merchandise exports increased by 25.2% compared to the same period the previous year. The strongest growth in exports was in the case of fuels, the value of which tripled in the second quarter of 2022.
Strategic economic sectors
Poland does not have one branch of the economy that clearly dominates over the others. Instead, the most important sectors are wholesale and retail trade, the food industry, accommodation and transport. Together they account for more than 25% of gross value added.
Further sectors of importance are industry, public administration, defence, education, health, social activities, professional, scientific and technical activities, construction and real estate.
The list of 32 companies of significant importance to the state’s economy includes companies operating primarily in the energy, raw materials and fuels, financial, media, transport, armaments and food industries.
It is estimated that in the next few years, the development of all sectors in Poland will be determined by automation, robotisation, digitalisation and energy transformation. The dominance of services will remain in the GDP structure, but industry will still play an important role in the Polish economy.
Automotive, electronics and defence companies will retain their position in the supply chain of global manufacturers. The food sector will also remain important, as Polish food is considered to be competitive in terms of quality and price on the international market.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that some professions will disappear in the coming years, with up to 20-30% of jobs likely to be automated. As many as 65% of Polish children currently starting school will work in professions that do not yet exist.
Due to the country’s dynamic development and enriching society, Poland is a very graceful and forward-looking market. If you need support in your marketing activities aimed at Poles, please contact us. We have many years of experience in introducing brands from all over the world to the Polish market!