Poland wealthier after pandemic than before it

According to an indicator developed by the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, Poland and Ireland are the only two countries that emerged from the pandemic wealthier than they had been before it

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: forsal.pl
Photo: G. Adamczyk

Poland is in a better financial situation now than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, latest data shows.

The National Wealth Indicator of the Warsaw Enterprise Institute (WEI) is an attempt to assess and estimate the degree of prosperity of societies and presents an additional or even alternative indicator to the traditional GDP measurement. 

The second edition of the WEI’s wealth of nations indicator measured the outcome of the pandemic between 2020 and 2021. It included EU and OECD states, measuring the value of private spending and the quality of public spending rather than its size, thereby attempting to measure quality of service and quality of life. 

According to the research, nearly all countries recorded a fall in comparison to the previous edition. The exceptions were Poland and Ireland. However, the Irish example is exceptional, as it is dominated by the transfer of assets there by foreign companies. The biggest falls in the index were recorded by Spain, Greece, U.K., and Croatia. 

Poland fared well in the analysis; private spending was maintained during the pandemic and the quality of public services was judged to have risen, taking Poland up from 58.8 points to 61.2. Nevertheless, on a global scale, Poland still ranks only 27th out of the 38 countries assessed, behind some countries in the region such as Czechia and Slovenia.

At the top of the index in the EU was Denmark with 97.4 points, while Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany followed closely behind. The poorest states in the EU according to the research are Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Romania, and Hungary.  

The picture inside the OECD was more diverse. Leading the field was Switzerland with 126 points and the USA with 105.7. Switzerland scored highly on both private and public spending, whereas the USA was the highest spender in the private sector but below the European average on its public spending. The lowest scores were recorded by Colombia and Mexico.

The research concluded that the quality of public services was inextricably linked with high spending. It assessed the quality of that spending in eight areas: national defense, internal security, infrastructure and public transport, the state of the environment, healthcare, primary and secondary education, higher education, and freedom of speech and association.

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