Over the last two centuries Poland's economic problems and turbulent political changes contributed to the creation one of the world's greatest streams of emigrants. Today's worldwide Polish community is estimated at around 15 million. The largest group are, of course, Polish Americans (approx. 8-10 million) with a particularly strong base in Chicago (mainly in the Polish Jackowo district). In Europe the largest population of Poles live in Germany and France (2 million altogether) as well as in Britain where the majority of our compatriots originally arrived during World War II. London became the location for the Polish Government-in-Exile in 1939, arriving alongside many refugees and Polish armed forces.
Many Poles live in territories that before World War II belonged to Poland, but they usually do not consider themselves as being Polish emigrants. After Poland joined the European Union, more and more Poles leave for other countries, predominantly to find a better job.
The Polish identity and patriotism are deeply rooted in the minds of Polish emigrants. Despite being abroad, they are intimate with Polish culture, and their children often study Polish as a second language. Most of them are in permanent touch with the close relatives living here in Poland, who keep them up to date with news on Poland.
Several international celebrities admitting to having Polish roots: