West Pomeranian Voivodeship

Coordinates: 53°25′N 14°35′E / 53.417°N 14.583°E / 53.417; 14.583
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
West Pomeranian Voivodeship
Województwo zachodniopomorskie
Location within Poland.
Location within Poland.
Division into counties.
Division into counties.
Coordinates (Szczecin): 53°25′N 14°35′E / 53.417°N 14.583°E / 53.417; 14.583
Country Poland
Capital Szczecin
 • BodyExecutive board
 • VoivodeAdam Rudawski
 • MarshalOlgierd Geblewicz
 • EPLubusz and West Pomeranian
 • Total22,892.48 km2 (8,838.84 sq mi)
 • Total1,682,003
 • Density73/km2 (190/sq mi)
 • Total€20.994 billion
 • Per capita€12,500
ISO 3166 codePL-32
Vehicle registrationZ
HDI (2019)0.869[2]
very high · 11th

The West Pomeranian Voivodeship,[a] also known as the West Pomerania Province,[3] is a voivodeship (province) in northwestern Poland. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin.[4] Its area equals 22 892.48 km2 (8,838.84 sq mi),[5] and in 2021, it was inhabited by 1,682,003 people.[6]

It was established on 1 January 1999, out of the former Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships and parts of Gorzów, Piła and Słupsk Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It borders on Pomeranian Voivodeship to the east, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the southeast, Lubusz Voivodeship to the south, the German federal-states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the north.[4]

Geography and tourism[edit]

Viking Festival in Wolin
Church of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the World, in Stargard

West Pomeranian Voivodeship is the fifth largest voivodeship of Poland in terms of area. Among the largest cities in the region are the capital Szczecin, as well as Koszalin, Stargard, and Świnoujście.

This is a picturesque region of the Baltic Sea coast, with many beaches, lakes and woodlands. Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police are important ports. Other major seaside towns include Międzyzdroje, Dziwnów, Kołobrzeg, and Mielno.

West Pomerania is considered one of the greenest regions of Poland, and one of the most attractive for tourists. It is characterized by incredible diversity of the landscape: beaches, hundreds of lakes, and forests full of wildlife (e.g. Wkrzanska Forest), spreading mainly up the hills of the glacial lakes areas. West Pomerania is also rich in various forms and styles of architecture that were built during the Middle Ages as well as the Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance periods. There is a diverse repertoire of theaters, festivals, museums and galleries. During a few-day long annual Sea Festival in Szczecin, a number of free open-air concerts take place. In Świnoujście during the summer, the FAMA Academic Youth Arts Festival takes place – an event with several years of tradition, which attracts not only young people but also older alumni. In Międzyzdroje, there is a Festival Of The Stars, which draws many popular actors. In Wolin, a Viking Festival takes place, which draws "Vikings" from all across Europe.

Another draw to the area is a wide array of health resorts. Brine and peloid, discovered in the 19th century, together with geothermal water resources, are popular attractions in Świnoujście, Kamień Pomorski and Połczyn Zdrój.

A notable phenomenon on a worldly scale is the Crooked Forest outside the town of Gryfino.

Cities and towns[edit]

Oder River in Szczecin
Gothic town hall, Chojna, built by Germans in 1320, when the town was known as Königsberg in der Neumark
City Hall, Koszalin
Park, Połczyn-Zdrój
Ship in harbour, Świnoujście
Town Hall, Nowe Warpno
Oder River in Police
Drawa National Park
Dendrological Garden, Przelewice

The voivodeship contains five cities and 61 towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2019):[7]

Cities (governed by a city mayor or prezydent miasta):
  1. Szczecin (402,067)
  2. Koszalin (107,225)
  3. Stargard (67,795)
  4. Kołobrzeg (46,309)
  5. Świnoujście (40,883)


  1. Szczecinek (40,016)
  2. Police (32,575)
  3. Wałcz (25,312)
  4. Białogard (24,250)
  5. Goleniów (22,284)
  6. Gryfino (21,221)
  7. Nowogard (16,603)
  8. Gryfice (16,524)
  9. Świdwin (15,533)
  10. Choszczno (15,213)
  11. Dębno (13,775)
  12. Barlinek (13,752)
  13. Darłowo (13,710)
  14. Złocieniec (12,901)
  15. Pyrzyce (12,581)
  16. Sławno (12,511)
  17. Drawsko Pomorskie (11,597)
  18. Myślibórz (11,151)
  19. Łobez (10,167)
  20. Trzebiatów (9,986)
  21. Kamień Pomorski (8,807)
  22. Połczyn-Zdrój (8,073)
  23. Chojna (7,375)
  24. Czaplinek (7,109)
  25. Sianów (6,621)
  26. Karlino (5,945)
  27. Międzyzdroje (5,376)
  28. Borne Sulinowo (5,116)
  29. Wolin (4,878)
  30. Kalisz Pomorski (4,366)
  31. Resko (4,217)
  32. Bobolice (3,991)
  33. Płoty (3,965)
  34. Lipiany (3,922)
  35. Barwice (3,715)
  36. Mieszkowice (3,647)
  37. Maszewo (3,357)
  38. Chociwel (3,177)
  39. Mirosławiec (3,081)
  40. Mielno (2,956)
  41. Polanów (2,917)
  42. Recz (2,898)
  43. Węgorzyno (2,816)
  44. Dziwnów (2,663)
  45. Golczewo (2,660)
  46. Pełczyce (2,583)
  47. Tychowo (2,520)
  48. Stepnica (2,465)
  49. Gościno (2,430)
  50. Człopa (2,322)
  51. Dobra (2,307)
  52. Drawno (2,280)
  53. Dobrzany (2,267)
  54. Trzcińsko-Zdrój (2,263)
  55. Biały Bór (2,185)
  56. Tuczno (1,934)
  57. Ińsko (1,924)
  58. Moryń (1,630)
  59. Cedynia (1,555)
  60. Suchań (1,471)
  61. Nowe Warpno (1,190)

The Polish districts of the historical region Western Pomerania (the three westernmost districts of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship) had a population of about 520,000 in 2012 (cities of Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police County combined) – while the German districts had a population of about 470,000 in 2012 (Vorpommern-Rügen and Vorpommern-Greifswald combined). Overall, about 1 million people live in the historical region of Western Pomerania today, while the Szczecin agglomeration reaches even further.

Administrative division[edit]

West Pomeranian Voivodeship is divided into 21 counties (powiats): three city counties and 18 land counties. These are further divided into 114 gminas.

The counties are listed in the following table (ordering within categories is by decreasing population in 2019):[7]

English and
Polish names
Seat Other towns Total
City counties
Szczecin 301 402,067 1
Koszalin 84 107,225 1
Świnoujście 197 40,883 1
Land counties
Stargard County
powiat stargardzki
1,520 120,088 Stargard Chociwel, Dobrzany, Ińsko, Suchań 10
Gryfino County
powiat gryfiński
1,870 82,258 Gryfino Chojna, Mieszkowice, Trzcińsko-Zdrój, Cedynia, Moryń 9
Goleniów County
powiat goleniowski
1,617 82,418 Goleniów Nowogard, Maszewo, Stepnica 6
Szczecinek County
powiat szczecinecki
1,765 77,731 Szczecinek Borne Sulinowo, Barwice, Biały Bór 6
Kołobrzeg County
powiat kołobrzeski
726 79,470 Kołobrzeg Gościno 7
Police County
powiat policki
664 79,967 Police Nowe Warpno 4
Myślibórz County
powiat myśliborski
1,182 65,999 Myślibórz Barlinek, Dębno 5
Koszalin County
powiat koszaliński
1,669 66,373 Koszalin * Sianów, Bobolice, Polanów, Mielno 8
Gryfice County
powiat gryficki
1,018 60,474 Gryfice Trzebiatów, Płoty 6
Drawsko County
powiat drawski
1,764 57,171 Drawsko Pomorskie Złocieniec, Czaplinek, Kalisz Pomorski 6
Sławno County
powiat sławieński
1,044 56,231 Sławno Darłowo 6
Wałcz County
powiat wałecki
1,415 53,325 Wałcz Mirosławiec, Człopa, Tuczno 5
Choszczno County
powiat choszczeński
1,328 48,419 Choszczno Recz, Pełczyce, Drawno 6
Białogard County
powiat białogardzki
845 47,697 Białogard Karlino, Tychowo 4
Świdwin County
powiat świdwiński
1,093 46,997 Świdwin Połczyn-Zdrój 6
Kamień County
powiat kamieński
1,007 47,115 Kamień Pomorski Międzyzdroje, Wolin, Dziwnów, Golczewo 6
Pyrzyce County
powiat pyrzycki
726 39,482 Pyrzyce Lipiany 6
Łobez County
powiat łobeski
1,066 36,954 Łobez Resko, Węgorzyno, Dobra 5
   NOTE: * seat not part of the county

Protected areas[edit]

Wolin National Park

Protected areas in West Pomeranian Voivodeship include two National Parks and seven Landscape Parks. These are listed below.


After Germany's defeat in World War II, the region became part of Poland by way of the Potsdam Agreement, which created territorial changes demanded by the Soviet Union.

In 1948, 67 percent of the populace originated from Central Poland, Greater Poland and Pomeralia while 25 percent came from the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Another 6 percent returned to Poland from Western Europe. About 50,000 Ukrainians were forcefully resettled to West Pomerania in the Operation Vistula in 1947.[8]

Education and science[edit]

Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 18.3 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 3.7% of Polish economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 17,700 euros or 59% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 67% of the EU average.[9]

Industrial, science and technology parks[edit]


There are two main international road routes that pass through the voivodeship: National road 3 (Poland) Świnoujście-Szczecin-Gorzów Wielkopolski-Zielona Góra-Legnica-Czech border (part of European route E65 from Swedish Malmö to Chaniá in Greece) and National road 6 (Poland) Szczecin-Koszalin-Słupsk-Gdańsk (part of European route E28 from Berlin to Minsk). Most of the National road 3 in the voivodeship is in a standard of an expressway (Expressway S3 (Poland)). The National road 6 between German border and Rzęśnica is in the standard of autostrada (A6 autostrada (Poland)), whereas part between Rzęścnica and Goleniów and bypasses of Goleniów and Nowogard are in standards of an expressway (Expressway S6 (Poland)). Other important national roads are National road 10 (Poland) (German border-Szczecin-Piła-Bydgoscz-Toruń-Płońsk) and National road 11 (Poland) (Kołobrzeg-Koszalin-Piła-Poznań-Bytom). Apart from the above, some other national roads are located in the voivodeship. The voivodeship possesses also a well-developed network of regional roads.

Main railways in the province are line no. 351 Szczecin-Poznań, line no. 273 Szczecin-Wrocław (so-called "Odra railway"), line no. 202 Stargard-Gdańsk, line no. 401 Szczecin-Świnoujście and line no. 404 Kołobrzeg-Szczecinek. The main railway stations of the province are Szczecin main station, Stargard and Koszalin. The stations are served by fast PKP Intercity trains which connect them with the capital Warsaw, as well as other major Polish cities. In addition to these fast express services, inter-regional trains and intra-regional trains are operated by the firm Przewozy Regionalne. Szczecin main station possesses international train connections with Berlin, Schwerin and Lübeck (operated by DB Regio). Świnoujście has a direct train connection with Stralsund, which is operated by Usedomer Bäderbahn.

The only domestic and international airport in West Pomeranian Voivodeship is Szczecin-Goleniów "Solidarność" Airport. Also, part of the runway of an abandoned airport in Bagicz (near Kołobrzeg) was converted to an airport licensed to service planes carrying not more than 20 passengers on board.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Polish: województwo zachodniopomorskie, pronounced [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ zaˌxɔdɲɔpɔˈmɔrskʲɛ] .


  1. ^ "EU regions by GDP, Eurostat". Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Subnational HDI - Global Data Lab". globaldatalab.org. Radboud University Nijmegen. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  3. ^ Arkadiusz Belczyk, Tłumaczenie polskich nazw geograficznych na język angielski Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine [Translation of Polish Geographical Names into English], 2002-2006.
  4. ^ a b Ustawa z dnia 24 lipca 1998 r. o wprowadzeniu zasadniczego trójstopniowego podziału terytorialnego państwa (Dz.U. z 1998 r. nr 96, poz. 603).
  5. ^ Powierzchnia i ludność w przekroju terytorialnym w 2014 r. (stan z 31 grudnia 2013). Warsaw: Główny Urząd Statystyczny, 2014.
  6. ^ "Baza Demografia". demografia.stat.gov.pl.
  7. ^ a b GUS. "Population. Size and structure and vital statistics in Poland by territorial division in 2019. As of 30th June". stat.gov.pl. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  8. ^ Alina Hutnikiewicz: "Proces Osadnictwa na Pomorzu Zachodnim po 1945 r" in Zeszyty Kulickie 5: Rodzinne Pomorze – dawniej i dziś, pp. 67 ff. (in Polish)
  9. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.

External links[edit]