Curiosities – Polish economy

Carp, Krakus and ‘Sun’ indexes

How many kilograms of carp Poles were able to buy for their average salaries?
Carp index.

(Carp is one of the Polish traditional dishes of Christmas Eve dinner.)

Following Wprost, 2002.

The four men in the diagram are: (from the left) Wladyslaw Gomulka, Edward Gierek and Wojciech Jaruzelski (the first secretaries of the Polish United Workers’ Party) and Leszek Balcerowicz (the first Polish liberal-reformer).

How many  kilograms of ham Poles were able to buy for their average salaries?
Krakus index.
(‘Krakus’ is well known Polish ham, therefore the name ‘Krakus index’.)

Following Wprost, 2005

The price of two weeks holidays compared to average salary in Poland.
Sun index.

Indeks Slonca



Tax freedom days in Poland


Following Gazeta Wyborcza, 2001


Competitiveness of Poland and USA


Following Gazeta Wyborcza, 1998

Polish names in the figure mean (clockwise from the 12.00):

  • national economy,
  • internationalisation,
  • government,
  • finance,
  • infrastructure,
  • management personnel,
  • science and technology,
  • people.

Structure of employment

               Agruculture                                 Industry                                                 Services

Following Gazeta Wyborcza, 2003

Polish names in the figure mean :

  • Pietnastka – the fifteen countries of UE,
  • Francja – France,
  • Niemcy – Germany,
  • Wlk. Brytania – Great Britain,
  • Polska – Poland,
  • Wegry – Hungary,
  • Estonia – Estonia.


America’s workers are more productive than Europe’s, and the gap is widening. But several European countries have higher levels of output per man-hour than the United States. America can claim to have higher living standards, as measured by GDP per person, only because more people are employed and they work longer hours. By contrast, France, ranked third in productivity, ranks only 16th in GDP per head.

Feb 22nd 2003
From The Economist print edition