Poland’s history has been mainly marked by turbulent and violent times. At the start of World War II, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which led to the death of more than six million Polish citizens, most of them Jewish, and the destruction of its economy. Today, Poland reports the fifth-largest Jewish population in Europe.
In 2004 - five years after joining NATO and fifteen years after the end of communist rule - , Poland became a member of the European Union. Since then, it has attempted to restructure its economy and establish political freedom. In 2009, amidst the global financial crisis, Poland was the only country in Europe to experience economic growth. GDP and GDP per capita in Poland are estimated to steadily increase through 2022. The success in creating a market economy in Poland has attracted foreign investment, and Germany is now Poland’s most important export and import partner.
Despite an extensive amount of farming land, the agriculture sector in Poland is largely inefficien; it accounted for approximately 2.4 percent of GDP in 2016. Still, Poland has managed to keep the unemployment rate below the European Union average, with the majority of employed people working in Services.