Poland (Polish: Polska), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska), is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 km² (120,728 sq mi), making it the 69th largest country in the world. Poland's population is over 38.5 million people, concentrated mainly in large and medium cities.
The first Polish state was baptized in 966, within territory very similar to the present boundaries of Poland. Poland became a kingdom in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by uniting to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth collapsed in 1795. Poland regained its independence in 1918 after World War I but lost it again in World War II, occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, emerging several years later as a communist country within the Eastern Bloc under the control of the Soviet Union. In 1989, communist rule was overthrown and Poland became what is informally known as the "Third Polish Republic". Today, as the 6th most populous member state of the European Union, Poland is a liberal democracy made up of sixteen voivodeships (Polish: województwo). Poland is also a member of NATO, the United Nations, OECD and the World Trade Organization.