Poland is closing the wealth gap with the West 

By John Cody
2 Min Read

Despite the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Poland has made significant strides in catching up with wealthier countries in the West.

Poland’s GDP per capita in relation to the EU average, a commonly used indicator of a country’s wealth, has steadily increased over the last three years, rising from 73 percent in 2019 to 79 percent in 2022.

While still behind the wealthiest EU nations like France (101 percent) and Germany (117 percent), Poland is catching up to Spain, Italy, Czechia, and the United Kingdom. At the same time, Denmark and Romania saw the most significant increases in prosperity, while the richest EU countries experienced a regression. 

Experts predict that Poland could soon catch up with Spain, Italy, Czechia, and the United Kingdom in terms of GDP per capita measured by purchasing power parity.

Although it may be challenging for Poland to catch up with nominal GDP per capita, adjusting it for purchasing power parity gives the country a chance to overtake Italy or Spain within a decade, assuming that Poland continues to develop; the Spaniards and Italians, meanwhile, are expected to achieve worse results. Taking into account this indicator, Poland is currently in 19th place in the EU.

Productivity, employment, and capital accumulation are the key factors that will allow Poland to catch up with Western prosperity. While productivity has the potential to grow by 2-2.5 percent annually, demographic issues may negatively affect employment and economic growth in the next decade. 

The CEO of the Polish Development Fund, Paweł Borys, estimates that the potential growth of Poland’s GDP should be around 3.5 percent in the coming years, although in the next decade, it may decrease to 2.5 percent due to demographic issues.

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