The Plight of Poland’s Poorest City: A Closer Look

Have you ever wondered which cities in Poland are the poorest? It will probably not surprise you to know that people living in towns located in smaller provinces earn much less than those in cities like Warsaw or Wrocław. The reasons for this include a lack of investment and higher levels of unemployment. in this article I will tell you about poorest places in Poland, but I will devide them into three categories: Cities, Villages and last category will reflect the median earnings.

According to a recent ranking by the Local Government Portal, the poorest cities in Poland are those located in the Silesian, Lower Silesian, and Lublin regions. The ranking was determined by the average income per resident in each city.

This year the winner of the title of poorest city in Poland goes to Luboń. Town is located in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. The average monthly income per capita here is a 1987 PLN (423 EUR). It’s important to keep in mind that these statistics are just numbers. They don’t tell the whole story of a city or its residents. However, they do shed light on the economic disparities that exist within Poland and highlight the need for more investment or job opportunities in these areas.

Poorest City in Poland

As I already mentioned, Luboń is located in the Greater Poland Voivodeship and is known as the poorest city in Poland. The city is situated by the Warta River and is part of the Poznań agglomeration.

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It’s a traditional manufacturing center, with active industries such as chemicals and constructions. However, despite its potential, the average monthly per capita income in Luboń was only 1987 PLN (423 EUR) last year, making it the only city in Poland with an average income below PLN 2,000.

List of Other Poor Cities in Poland (2023)

Luboń isn’t the only poor city in Poland. Please note that 2000 PLN is 425 EUR or 460 USD.
Other cities include:

  •   Głowno, in the Łódź province with a per capita income of PLN 2132.81
  •   Rumia, in the Pomeranian Voivodeship with a per capita income of PLN 2129.09
  •   Rydułtowy, in the Silesian province with a per capita income of PLN 2119.79
  •   Kalety, in the Silesian voivodeship with a per capita income of PLN 2119.61
  •   Hrubieszów, in the Lublin province with a per capita income of PLN 2110.85
  •   Orzesze, in the Silesian voivodeship with a per capita income of PLN 2090.58
  •   Pabianice, in the Łódź province with a per capita income of PLN 2062.52
  •   Luboń, in the Greater Poland province with a per capita income of PLN 1987.31

Why is it like this? There are many reasons for the poor situation in these cities, including high unemployment, a lack of development prospects, limited job opportunities, and an aging population. These statistics highlight the need for more investment and job opportunities in these areas to improve the lives of the residents.

What is The Poorest Village in Poland?

Well ,we have cities, but there are also small villages. They cannot compete with bigger towns in terms of employment. So, the poorest village in Poland is Potok Górny in Lublin Province. Per capita income in this small village is PLN 524 (110 EUR). Actually this municipality ranked last in the whole country, as 2477th.

The second poorest municipalities is Przytuły located in Podlaskie Voivodeship, with PLN 558 (118 EUR). Third one is Turośl with PLN 586 (120 EUR).

The Rest of The List of Poorest Villages:

  • Lipnica Wielka – małopolskie Voivodeship, (PLN 588.74, EUR 131.09)
  • Aleksandrów, lubelskie Voivodeship, (PLN 590.57, EUR 131.47)
  • Dzikowiec — podkarpackie (PLN 619.22, EUR 137.29)
  • Ostrówek — lubelskie (PLN 619.68, EUR 137.40)
  • Rościszewo — mazowieckie (PLN 641.96, EUR 142.37)
  • Rusinów — mazowieckie (PLN 649.61, EUR 143.58)
  • Trzcianne — podlaskie (PLN 657.78, EUR 145.08)

Economic Factors

The Ministry of Finance has just released a new report that shows the tax income per capita for each municipality in Poland in 2022. And let me tell you, the results are eye-opening. On one end of the spectrum, we have Kleszczów in the Łódź province with a per capita income of a whopping PLN 29,704.36. On the other end, we have Potok Górny in the Lublin Province with a measly PLN 523.72 per capita income.

What is included in „per capita income”? The data used to create this report was based on tax revenues from 2020 which includes various types of income such as real estate tax, agricultural tax, forestry tax, shares of CIT and PIT revenues, income from selling properties, subsidies and grants from the state budget and EU funds.

This information is used by the state to calculate the allowances that are paid to local government units. The idea is that the wealthier municipalities that exceed a certain threshold, pay a calculated amount to the state budget, and then this money is given to the poorest regions in Poland. Well, it’s like Robin Hood’s aproach. Steal from wealthiest and give it to the poor.

With such a huge gap in income, it’s clear that there’s a lot of work to be done to help the less fortunate municipalities.

Poorest City in Poland in Terms of Median Earnings

The Central Statistical Office releases a summary every year that focuses on the median earnings of the residents of each city in Poland. This is another method of measuring the situation.

According to this summary, the city of Mikstat holds the title of poorest city in Poland in terms of median earnings. Mikstat is located in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, Ostrzeszow County and has a population of just under 1,900 people.

While the average monthly income per capita in Mikstat is not too bad, at 2,860 PLN, the median earnings are much lower, standing at only 1631.92 PLN per month.

This difference highlights how a small number of high earners can skew the average income and mask the reality for a large portion of the population.

Income in the Poorest Cities in Poland vs. Income in Warsaw

When comparing the income in the poorest cities in Poland with the income in Warsaw, the contrast is striking. In Warsaw, the average monthly income per capita is a at 4,500 PLN. Even the median earnings in Warsaw stand at a relatively high 4033 PLN per month. This is in contrast to the average and median incomes in the poorest cities in Poland, which as you already saw – are significantly lower.

By the way, do not forget to check on my other article I wrote about the biggest cities in Poland. I am sure you will find it interesting that one of the biggest ones is Swinoujscie, which few years ago was one of the smallest in the country.

Where in Poland Does One Live the Cheapest?

Maybe you are reading this article, because you look for the cheapest place to live in Poland? Well, look no further, because according to a report by the Curulis company, the city of Zambrów takes the top spot for the most affordable place to call home.

The report, titled „Ranking of residents’ expenditures on municipal services,” found that the average annual spending on utilities in Zambrów is a budget-friendly PLN 1611. Second is Kozienice with an average annual budget of PLN 1734 for utilities. 

It’s worth noting that, compared to other cities around the world, Poland overall is relatively affordable. Although living in the country’s capital, Warsaw, can be expensive for many Poles, it’s still considered more budget-friendly compared to other European and world capitals.