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The Polish diaspora refers to people of Polish descent who live outside Poland. In Poland, the word Polonia – simply meaning Poland in several languages – is commonly used.
According to reliable estimates, 15-20 million people of Polish ancestry live outside Poland (the current population of the country is slightly over 38 million). The reasons for this massive displacement of several generations of Poles people vary: they include border shifts, forced resettlement, and political or economic emigration. Major communities of Poles or people of Polish origin can be found in the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden
,and Ireland as well as Brazil, Canada, Australia and Argentina. Poles also reside in many other countries on all continents.
A large proportion of Polish citizens who migrated – mostly to the United States – in the early 20th century were Polish Jews. Today, they and their families form a considerable part of the Jewish iaspora. Until 1939, Poland was home to the world's largest Jewish population, but over three million Polish Jews were killed in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany.
Over the period of the last two decades, with the Republic of Poland enjoying its regained freedom and sovereignty, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senate and many other institutions have made great efforts to help Polish citizens around the world. This assistance embraces a variety of forms and activities, from financial aid and active support of Polish ethnic minority rights in the countries of to symbolic gestures of national heritage – so important for Polish citizens and millions of Poles living away from their .
The Polish language version of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website contains many important documents a information relating to Poles living abroad.See more
- Faces of the Polish Diaspora. Portraits of Poles Living in Italy exhibition
- Council of Ministers adopts new programme of cooperation with Polish diaspora
- Government backs plan to strengthen co-operation with Polish diaspora, encourages return of Poles living abroad, PAP dispatch from 18 August 2015
- 2 May celebrates Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad Day
- Debate of Polish diaspora organizations from Europe