Poland lies in the very center of Europe. It is a country two and a half times the size of New York State. It has a population of 39 million people, more or less equal to that of New England plus New York State and New Jersey.
Like the United States it is a democracy, a republic, and a member of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization). It is also a member of EU (the European Union). Its people vote in general elections for a President, and Representatives to the Sejm and Senate, which are equivalent to the two Houses of the US Congress.
The history of Poland goes back more than a thousand years, but lacking natural frontiers, the country has been frequently invaded. Perhaps because of this, Poles are very patriotic and cherish their freedom.
The country's name, Poland or Polska, is derived from the word Polanie or "people of the fields."
Poland is one of Europe's more visited countries ranking in 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available from World Tourism Organization, as the 15th top tourist destination world-wide.