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Total population: 45 million (est.)
Significant populations in: Poland:
   36,983,720 (2002)

   200,000 (est.)
   250,000 (est.)
   400,000 (est.)
   500,000 (est.)
   820,000 (est.)
   200,000 (est.)
   60,000 (est.)
   250,000 (est.)
   100,000 (est.)
   220,000 (est.)
   150,000 (est.)
   8,900,000 (includes non-primary ancestry) (est.)

Language: Polish
Religion: Predominantly Roman Catholic with Atheist, Protestant and orthodox minorities.
Related ethnic groups: Indo-Europeans

    West Slavs

The Poles are a nation inhabiting the country of Poland (in Central Europe) and a number of other states in the world, where they form a significant Polish diaspora.

There is no commonly accepted definition of the Poles. According to the preamble of the Constitution of Poland the Polish Nation consists of all citizens of Poland. However, like in most European countries, many people limit the group to native speakers of the Polish language, people that share certain views or traditions, or people who share a common ethnic background originating from Poland. As to the ethnicity, the name of the nation comes from a western Slavic ethnic group primarily associated with Poland and the Polish language. The Polans were one of the most influential tribes of the Greater Poland, inhabitated the areas around the towns of Giecz, Gniezno and Poznań, and managed to unite most of other Slavic clans in the area under the rule of what became the Piast Dynasty, thus giving birth to a new state. Ironically, the term "Polak" (pronounced like "Poe lock", also spelled "Polack") is sometimes seen as derogatory for Poles (in English, at least) yet the Polish name for Pole is Polak, and the ordinary words for Pole in other languages such as Spanish ("polaco") are derived from Polak. Poles are the second largest Slavic nation after Russians in terms of the population number, just ahead of Ukrainians, and the largest predominately Roman Catholic one. Estimates vary greatly in this respect, though most data suggest a number around 46-50 million. There are around 37 million Poles in Poland alone as well as autochthonous Polish minorities in the surrounding countries such as Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus. There are some smaller minorities in Moldava, Latvia etc. Note that there was/is also a Polish minority in the Soviet Union which included autochthonous Poles as well as some forcefully transferred Poles.

The term Polonia is nowadays usually used in Poland to refer to people of Polish origin who live outside Polish borders, estimated at around 10 - 12 million. There is a notable Polish diaspora in the United States, Canada, Argentina and other countries. In the United States a significant number of Polish immigrants settled in Chicago.

Polish clans

The following is the list of clans that constituted the lands of Poland in early Middle Ages, at the beginning of Polish state. Some of them remain today a separate ethnicity while others have melted into the culture of Poland.

See also

External links

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