Administrative division of the Polish People's Republic

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Administrative division of Polish People's Republic was subject to several reforms. The first of those established administrative division over the Polish territories that had shifted significantly westwardly. The Polish People's Republic administrative division was reformed in: 1946, 1950, 1957 and 1975. The 1975 division survived the fall of communism in 1990 and was replaced only in 1999 by the most current administrative division of Poland, which closely resembles the 1945-75 scheme but with different names (the Communists tended to simply name the voivodeships after their capitals, whereas the current ones use more historical names) and changes in the borders in certain areas.

After World War II, Poland lost 77,000 km² of eastern regions (Kresy), gaining instead the smaller but much more industrialized so-called "Regained Territories" east of the Oder-Neisse line.

The Polish People's Republic was divided into several voivodeships (the Polish unit of administrative division). After World War II, the new administrative divisions were based on the pre-war ones. The areas in the East that were not annexed by the Soviet Union had their borders left almost unchanged. Newly acquired territories in the west and north were organised into the voivodeships of Szczecin, Wrocław, Olsztyn and partially joined to Gdańsk, Katowice and Poznań voivodeships. Two cities were granted voivodeship status: Warsaw and Łódź.

In 1950 new voivodeships were created: Koszalin - previously part of Szczecin, Opole - previously part of Katowice, and Zielona Góra - previously part of Poznań, Wrocław and Szczecin voivodeships. In addition, three other cities were granted voivodeship status: Wrocław, Kraków and Poznań.

In 1973, Polish voivodeships were changed again. This reorganization of administrative division of Poland was mainly a result of local government reform acts of 1973 to 1975. A three-level administrative division (voivodeship, county, commune) was replaced with a two-level administrative division (49 small voidships and communes). The three smallest voivodeships: Warsaw, Kraków and Łódź had a special status of municipal voivodeship; the city president (mayor) was also province governor.

The system of division remained in effect after the fall of the People's Republic, until 1999, when a system of larger voivodeships and powiats was again introduced (see Administrative division of Poland).

Poland's voivodeships 1945-75 (14+2 voivodeships, then 17+5)[edit]

Polish People's Republic

After World War II, the new administrative division of the country was based on the prewar one. The areas in the east that had not been annexed by the Soviet Union had their borders left almost unchanged. The newly acquired territories in the west and north were organized into the voivodeships of Szczecin, Wrocław and Olsztyn, and partly joined to Gdańsk, Katowice and Poznań voivodeships. Two cities were granted voivodeship status: Warsaw and Łódź.

Poland's voivodeships after 1957.

In 1950, new voivodeships were created: Koszalin (previously part of Szczecin), Opole (previously part of Katowice), and Zielona Góra (previously part of Poznań, Wrocław and Szczecin voivodeships). In addition, three more cities were granted voivodeship status: Wrocław, Kraków and Poznań.

 

Polish administrative division 1945-1975
Car plates
(since 1956)
Voivodeship Capital Area
km² (1965)
Population
(1965)
A białostockie Białystok 23 136 1 160 400
B bydgoskie Bydgoszcz 20 794 1 837 100
G gdańskie Gdańsk 10 984 1 352 800
S katowickie Katowice 9 518 3 524 300
C kieleckie Kielce 19 498 1 899 100
E koszalińskie ¹ Koszalin 17 974 755 100
K krakowskie Kraków 15 350 2 127 600
F Łódzkie Łódź 17 064 1 665 200
L lubelskie Lublin 24 829 1 900 500
O olsztyńskie Olsztyn 20 994 956 600
H opolskie ¹ Opole 9 506 1 009 200
P poznańskie Poznań 26 723 2 126 300
R rzeszowskie Rzeszów 18 658 1 692 800
M szczecińskie Szczecin 12 677 847 600
T warszawskie Warsaw 29 369 2 453 000
X wrocławskie Wrocław 18 827 1 967 000
Z zielonogórskie ¹ Zielona Góra 14 514 847 200
car plates
(since 1956)
Separate city Area
km² (1965)
Population
(1965)
I Łódź 214 744 100
W Warsaw 446 1 252 600
 ? Kraków ² 230 520 100
 ? Poznań ² 220 438 200
 ? Wrocław ² 225 474 200
¹ - new voivodeships created in 1950; ² - cities separated in 1957


Poland's voivodeships 1975-98 (49 voivodeships)[edit]

(since 1989, the Third Polish Republic)

Poland's voivodeships after 1975.

This reorganization of administrative division of Poland was mainly a result of local government reform acts of 1973–1975. In place of the three-level administrative division (voivodeship, county, commune), a new two-level administrative division was introduced (49 small voivodeships, and communes). The three smallest voivodeships – Warsaw, Kraków and Łódź – had the special status of municipal voivodeship; the city president (mayor) was also provincial governor.

 

Polish voivodeships and separate cities 1975-1998
Abbreviation Voivodeship Capital Area
km² (1998)
Population
(1980)
No. of cities No. of communes
bp Biała Podlaska Voivodeship Biała Podlaska 5348 286 400 6 35
bk Białystok Voivodeship (1975-1998) Białystok 10 055 641 100 17 49
bb Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship Bielsko-Biała 3 704 829 900 18 47
by Bydgoszcz Voivodeship Bydgoszcz 10 349 1 036 000 27 55
ch Chełm Voivodeship Chełm 3 865 230 900 4 25
ci Ciechanów Voivodeship Ciechanów 6 362 405 400 9 45
cz Częstochowa Voivodeship Częstochowa 6 182 747 900 17 49
el Elbląg Voivodeship Elbląg 6 103 441 500 15 37
gd Gdańsk Voivodeship Gdańsk 7 394 1 333 800 19 43
go Gorzów Voivodeship Gorzów Wielkopolski 8 484 455 400 21 38
jg Jelenia Góra Voivodeship Jelenia Góra 4 378 492 600 24 28
kl Kalisz Voivodeship Kalisz 6 512 668 000 20 53
ka Katowice Voivodeship Katowice 6 650 3 733 900 43 46
ki Kielce Voivodeship Kielce 9 211 1 068 700 17 69
kn Konin Voivodeship Konin 5 139 441 200 18 43
ko Koszalin Voivodeship Koszalin 8 470 462 200 17 35
kr Kraków Voivodeship Kraków 3 254 1 167 500 10 38
ks Krosno Voivodeship Krosno 5 702 448 200 12 37
lg Legnica Voivodeship Legnica 4 037 458 900 11 31
le Leszno Voivodeship Leszno 4 254 357 600 19 28
lu Lublin Voivodeship Lublin 6 793 935 200 16 62
lo Łomża Voivodeship Łomża 6 684 325 800 12 39
ld Łódź Voivodeship Łódź 1523 1 127 800 8 11
ns Nowy Sącz Voivodeship Nowy Sącz 5 576 628 800 14 41
ol Olsztyn Voivodeship Olsztyn 12 327 681 400 21 48
op Opole Voivodeship Opole 8 535 975 000 29 61
os Ostrołęka Voivodeship Ostrołęka 6 498 371 400 9 38
pi Piła Voivodeship Piła 8 205 437 100 24 35
pt Piotrków Voivodeship Piotrków Trybunalski 6 266 604 200 10 51
pl Płock Voivodeship Płock 5 117 496 100 9 44
po Poznań Voivodeship Poznań 8 151 1 237 800 33 57
pr Przemyśl Voivodeship Przemyśl 4 437 380 000 9 35
rs Radom Voivodeship Radom 7 295 702 300 15 61
rz Rzeszów Voivodeship Rzeszów 4 397 648 900 13 41
se Siedlce Voivodeship Siedlce 8 499 616 300 12 66
si Sieradz Voivodeship Sieradz 4 869 392 300 9 40
sk Skierniewice Voivodeship Skierniewice 3 959 396 900 8 36
sl Słupsk Voivodeship Słupsk 7 453 369 800 11 31
su Suwałki Voivodeship Suwałki 10 490 422 600 14 42
sz Szczecin Voivodeship Szczecin 9 981 897 900 29 50
tg Tarnobrzeg Voivodeship Tarnobrzeg 6 283 556 300 14 46
ta Tarnów Voivodeship Tarnów 4 151 607 000 9 41
to Toruń Voivodeship Toruń 5 348 610 800 13 41
wb Wałbrzych Voivodeship Wałbrzych 4 168 716 100 31 30
wa Warsaw Voivodeship Warsaw 3 788 2 319 100 27 32
wl Włocławek Voivodeship Włocławek 4 402 413 400 14 30
wr Wrocław Voivodeship Wrocław 6 287 1 076 200 16 33
za Zamość Voivodeship Zamość 6 980 472 100 5 47
zg Zielona Góra Voivodeship Zielona Góra 8 868 609 200 26 50