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This article is about Poles as an ethnic or legal group.

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For other uses, see Poles (disambiguation).; singular masculine: Polak, singular feminine: Polka) are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Poland.The population of Poles in Poland is estimated at 37,394,000 out of an overall population of 38,538,000 (based on the 2011 census).The preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland defines the Polish nation as comprising all the citizens of Poland; ethnicity is a private matter of each citizen.Poland's population inhabits several historic regions such as Greater Poland, Lesser Poland, Mazovia, Silesia, Pomerania, Kuyavia, Warmia (Ermland), Masuria, and Podlachia.Over a thousand years ago, the Polans – an influential tribe in "Wielkopolska", inhabiting the areas around Giecz, Gniezno, and Poznań – succeeded in uniting various Lechitic tribes under what became the Piast dynasty, thereby creating the Polish state.

A wide-ranging Polish diaspora (the Polonia) exists throughout Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine), the Americas (the United States, Brazil, Canada, Argentina) and in Australia.Today the largest urban concentration of Poles is the Katowice urban agglomeration (the Silesian Metropolis) of 2.7 million inhabitants.Polish émigrés have included innumerable individuals in all walks of life who have enriched American society, not least Generals Casimir Pulaski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski (a first cousin to composer Frédéric Chopin), and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.Poland was also for centuries a refuge for many Jews from all over Europe; a large number emigrated in the twentieth century to Israel.Several prominent Israeli statesmen were born in Poland, including Israel's founder David Ben-Gurion, former President of Israel Shimon Peres, and Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin.During Poland's thousand-year history, its people have contributed greatly to the fields of philosophy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, medicine, engineering, linguistics, the social sciences, law, literature, the visual arts, music, and film.