Poland Populated Centers
A little more than ¼ (27.2% in 1931, compared with 24.6% in 1921) of the population lives in the cities, which are 636 in total; the ¾ live in agricultural centers or scattered houses. By far the most numerous cities are those with less than 5000 residents, which are 308 and host 2.9% of the total population; those with 5-10 thousand residents (177, 3.9% of the population), with 10-20 thousand residents (83, 3.4%), with 20-100 thousand residents (57, 6.5%), with 100,000-1 million residents. (10.6.8%); only the capital, Warsaw, has a population of over one million. (3.7% of the total population).
Poland has relatively few cities, and the percentage of the urban population is small, due to the country’s mainly agricultural character. For a comparison it will be recalled that the urban population of France corresponds to 46% of the total, that of Great Britain to 79%. The movement of the rural population towards the cities, although at the beginning, is already very considerable, and is directed above all towards the industrial regions. It is precisely the industrial cities, of recent origin, which experience the most significant population increases (Łódź, Katowice, Sosnowiec, Częstochowa, etc.), apart from the case of Gdynia.
Cause of urbanization is also the development of some holiday and health resorts (due to the presence of mineral waters), especially in the Carpazî (Zakopane and Krynica until recently were mountain villages). It should be noted that most of the urban centers have the transitory character of the agricultural city.
Looking at a map of Poland, it is easy to see that the cities have arisen along very distinct lines. In fact, in the Carpazî region we find a series of more or less important cities (Żywiec, Sucha, Maków, Nowy Sącz, Jasło, Krosno, Sanok, Turka) in the hollows that line up between the main chains and their buttresses. A second more important series is located right on the edge of the Carpathian area: from O. to E. we find Cieszyn, Bielsko-Biała, Wielicxka, Bochnia, Tarnów (45.235 residents), Rzeszów, Jarosław, Przemyśl (51.379 residents), Sambor, Borysław (41,683 residents), Drohobycz (32,622 residents), Stryj (30,682 residents), Stanislawów (60,256 residents), Kołomyja (33,385 residents). These cities arise for the most part at the level outlet of notable Carpathian rivers; their development is due to
According to insidewatch, Krakow (Kraków) rises between the Carpathians and the Lesser Poland plateau, between the plains of Silesia and the Moravian Gate on one side and the plains of the Vistula on the other. ancient capital of the kings of Poland, by population (221,260 residents) the fifth city of the republic, at the intersection of two important ancient roads, one that led from the Black Sea to Lviv and Silesia towards Western Europe, the other that from the southern European countries through the Porta Morava it led to the Baltic Sea. Krakow, in an excellent strategic position (under Austria it was one of the most powerful European strongholds), after Warsaw the most lively Polish cultural center, is also remarkable from an economic point of view, because it is close to the industrial district of Silesia, to the lead mines. by Olkusz,
A very dense group of cities (some of them large) arose on the western edge of Lesser Poland, in the coal area: Katowice (127,044 residents), Sosnowiec (109,454 residents), Dąbrowa Górnicza (36,987 residents), Zawiercie (32,713 residents) residents), Będzin (47,812 residents), Nowy Chorzów (resulting from the union, in May 1934, of the centers of Chorzów, Królewska Huta and Hajduki, between which there was no longer any solution of continuity: 104,000 residents), etc. Other notable cities are found further to the North. and to the NE.: Częstochowa (117,692 residents), Kielce (58,397 residents), Tomaszów Mazowiecki (38,065 residents), Radom (78,072 residents) And other smaller ones. In the Lublinese, the major cities have sprung up on the edge of the reliefs (Lublin, 112,522 residents, Chełm, etc.). Lviv, by population (316,177 residents) The 3rd city of the republic, is located on the watershed between the Vistula and the Dnestr, in a point where it is easy to pass between the levels of the Bug and those of the San, at the intersection of the roads that come from Volinia, Podolia and Lublinese. In Podolia, the major centers are on the northern edge of the plateau (Brody, Krzemieniec), or in the points of easier passage of the shallower valleys (Brzeżany, Tarnopol, 35,831 residents); in Volhynia, also on the northern edge, on the edge of the forest area of Polessia (Włodzimierz, Łuck, 35,700 residents, Równe, 40,788).); in Volhynia, also on the northern edge, on the edge of the forest area of Polessia (Włodzimierz, Łuck, 35,700 residents, Równe, 40,788).); in Volhynia, also on the northern edge, on the edge of the forest area of Polessia (Włodzimierz, Łuck, 35,700 residents, Równe, 40,788).
In the rest of Poland the cities developed mainly in the great diluvial valleys, on the banks of navigable waterways, and especially at the major confluences. Along the Vistula we find Warsaw, the capital (1,187,211 residents), In the center of the Polish plain, in a point not far from the confluence of the Bug (which to N. of Warsaw receives the Narew) and that of the Pilica: point, therefore, where the river routes coming from all regions of Poland meet, since, as we have seen, the aforementioned rivers have natural or artificial hydrographic connections with the river systems of Niemen, Prypeć (Dnepr) and Warta (Oder). Also along the Vistula are Płock (32,777 residents), Włocławek (56,377 residents), Toruń (54,280 residents), Bydgoszcz (a short distance from its course, on the tributary Brda: 117,519 residents), Grudziądz (50,405 residents), Tczew; on Warta, Poznań (the 4th Polish city by population, 246,574 residents), at an equal distance from the Baltic and the Sudetenland, between the great Toruń-Eberswald and Warsaw-Berlin diluvial channels, at the center of numerous very busy land and river routes ; on Prosna, a tributary of the Warta, Kalisz (pop. 55,113), on the Bug, Brześć (pop. 48,435); on the Narew, Łomża and Pułtusk (in the Narew basin, however, the most important city is Białystok, 91,355 residents); on the Niemen, Grodno (49,818 residents); on Wilja, Vilna (191,049 residents), at the confluence of the Wileńka, in a very favorable geographical position, at the crossroads of routes from central Poland, northern Russia and the Baltic. In the north-eastern region the centers usually avoid frontal moraines, gorges and dune regions, preferably rising on the edge of areas already occupied by ancient lake basins. Far from waterways and on a watershed area in addition to Lviv (316,177 residents) Other important cities have developed, among which Łódź (605,287 residents; in 2nd place by population), the Polish Manchester, located on the watershed between the basins of the Pilica and the Bzura and that of the Warta; then Piotrków (51,281 residents), Gniezno (26,000 residents), Inowrocław (30,862 residents), Nowogródek. In the marshy Polessia, the major centers are located on the edge of the less low-lying and drier areas (Pińsk, 31,913 residents). The only city on the short coast is Gdynia, the great Polish port, which arose and developed where until 1920 it was a village of 300 fishermen (30,210 residents in 1931).