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Ethnic group
GroupPolish people
Populationca. 60 million (est.)
Significant populationsPoland 36,983,720
 United States8977235
 Germany1,500,000 - 2,000,000
  500,000 - 560,000
 Republic of Ireland200000
 Czech Republic51968
 South Africa30000

     Home | Ethnic Group | Poles

thumbThe Polish people, or Poles ( c-plpo'lacy; singular: Polak), are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe. The Polish word for a Polish person is "Polak" (masculine) and "Polka" (feminine).

The preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland defines the Polish nation as comprising all the citizens of Poland. Poland's inhabitants live in seven major historic regions: Wielkopolska, Małopolska, Mazovia, Pomerania, Warmia, Mazury and Silesia. A wide-ranging Polish diaspora exists throughout Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine), the Americas (the United States, Brazil and Argentina) and Australia. Chicago, in the United States, has the world's largest urban Polish population after Warsaw.

Over a thousand years ago, the Polans of Giecz, Gniezno and Poznań - an influential tribe in Wielkopolska - succeeded in uniting Lechitic tribes under what became the Piast dynasty, thus giving rise to the Polish state.

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