|Poland's population is shrinking partly as a result of migration|
About 1.5 million Poles have been living abroad for at least a year, the latest population census data show. According to demography expert Krystyna Iglicka, these people are unlikely to come back to Poland to stay. Migration from Poland will most probably continue.
Professor Iglicka estimates that about 100,000 Poles left the country in 2012 and another 500,000-800,000 will leave over the next five years. This migration is mostly for economic reasons and it's the poorest regions that lose the highest number of people this way (Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Opolskie voivodships).
Between 2000-2012, nearly 300,000 Poles left the country, about the same population as a medium-sized city. The age group that most often leaves the country is 20-40 year-olds, many of whom get married and have children abroad. This affects Poland's population structure.
The last such wave of emigration occurred after the implementation of martial law in Poland in 1981. In the 1980s, 1.2 million Poles were living abroad, but most of them came back eventually after communism ended.
According to new Eurostat regulations, people living outside their country for at least a year are not considered citizens of their country of origin. That's why when the newest population report is released next year, Poland's population will shrink from 38.5 million to 37 million.
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