Polish

The Poles (, ; singular masculine: Polak, singular feminine: Polka) are a nation of predominantly West Slavic ethnic origin who are native to East Central Europe, inhabiting mainly Poland. The present population of Poles living in Poland is estimated at 36,522,000 out of the overall Poland population of 38,512,000 (based on the census of 2011). 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 the following historic regions of the country: Wielkopolska, Małopolska, Mazovia (), Silesia (), Pomerania (), Kujawy, Warmia, Mazury, and Podlasie. A wide-ranging Polish diaspora exists throughout Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine), the Americas (the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina) and Australia. In 1960, Chicago, in the United States, had the world’s largest urban Polish population after Warsaw. Today the largest urban concentration of Poles is the Katowice urban agglomeration known as the Silesian Metropolis, of 2.7 million inhabitants. There is a festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called Polish Fest, and a festival in Chicago, Illinois, called “Polish Fest Chicago”, that celebrate the Polish people. 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. Emigrant Poles included a wide range of important American generals such as Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko, statesmen such as the current longest serving member of the United States Congress, John Dingell and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. Outside of the US, prominent politicians include the 21st President of Brazil, founder of Brasília and highest-rated Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek as well as several Israeli heads of state, including David Ben-Gurion, founder of Israel, former President of Israel Shimon Peres and Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin. Throughout its existence, the Polish nation greatly contributed to the fields of science, mathematics, physics and literature, providing some of the finest and most respected poets, writers, chemists and philosophers in the world.

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