The Polish economy has been growing non-stop for more than a quarter of a century now. Since joining the European Union in 2004, Poland’s GDP, measured in purchasing power parity, has increased by an average of four percent a year – one of the best performances in the European Union
Fifteen years ago Poland joined the European Union. At that time Poland was one of the least affluent countries in the group: GDP per capita was USD 16,000 in purchasing power parity, the second lowest after Latvia. Unemployment exceeded 19 percent. The average monthly salary was less than PLN 2,300.
The figures for the country’s economic development since then are impressive. Over the last decade and a half, the country has grown around four percent a year on average, more than three times the EU average of 1.2 percent.
Poland is also the only EU country to have experienced growth every year since joining. In fact, Poland’s record of uninterrupted economic growth stretches even further back, to 1992. Poland’s fast, stable growth rate has enabled it to close some of the gap between itself and Western Europe. Between 2004 and 2018 it managed to almost halve the distance between itself and the former EU countries in terms of GDP. Consequently, Polish GDP was 44 percent of the EU average in 2004, compared to 67 percent in 2018.