Polish Class System

Is Poland Similar?

Is Poland Similar?

The employment and vocations of Polish people has changed in recent times. Increasingly more people find employment outside agriculture; for instance in trade and services. Data from the beginning of the 21st century shows that 54% of the workforce was employed in services, 29% in industry and 16% in agriculture. Such a decrease is an indicator of changes in society. In 2000, the percentage of people who were economically active was 44% of the whole population. In comparison, this was 51% in the USA. What is more, the structure of Poland’s social strata has changed since 1989. There has been a noticeable decrease in the number of ‘working class’ people and members of the ‘intelligentsia’, while the ‘economic elites’ connected with the business and political classes have grown. Currently, the following classes can be identified in Poland: upper class – highly qualified specialists, owners of large companies, senior government officials, politicians, artists, scientists; middle class – the owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises, skilled workers, merchants and craftsmen, academics; lower class – the owners of small farms, workers, the unemployed, unskilled workers; underclass – people permanently living on unemployment benefit.

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