Since the early 1990s, life in Poland has changed dramatically, mostly for the better. Joining the European Union in 2004 helped inject billions of dollars of investment into the Polish economy, which had an impact both on people's income and on the prosperity of the country as a whole. Stability, high rates of economic development and decent living standards attract thousands of immigrants from neighboring countries, especially from Ukraine.

Over the last few years hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have received residence permits in Poland, and if we take into account seasonal and illegal workers, there are millions of migrants. In addition, a large number of foreigners apply for a card of the Pole, which allows to work freely, conduct business in Poland and gives a number of other rights. About the prices and costs of living, taxes, specific employment, wages, pros and cons of life in Poland in 2024, we will talk further.

Living in Israel

Pros and cons of living in Poland

The population of Poland amounts to about 40.6 million people. The vast majority of local residents (about 98%) call themselves ethnic Poles. Also in the country lives a lot of Germans, Belarusians and Ukrainians. According to surveys of immigrants, the best cities to live in Poland in 2024 are Wroclaw, Poznan and Krakow. We highlight the positive and negative aspects of moving to Poland permanently.

Pros of living in Poland

  • Membership in the European Union allows citizens and permanent residents of Poland to move freely within the Schengen area and enjoy a number of other benefits within this association.

  • Even in Poland's larger cities the cost of living and rental prices are reasonable, including the capital Warsaw.

  • Poland has a rich history and culture, monuments and museums are located everywhere. Many cities are constantly full of exciting exhibitions, concerts, fairs, music festivals, great sporting events and vibrant nightlife.

  • The Baltic coast makes your stay in Poland more pleasant than life in the Czech Republic, which has no access to the sea. In addition, there are many other beautiful places, including – lakes, forests, plains and mountains.

  • Poland has an effective system of higher education, an extensive network of public transport and quality health care. At the same time, private health care is relatively cheap.

  • Poles are very open, sociable and friendly people. Young people speak English well, and the older generation even speaks Russian.

  • There is a low level of terrorist threats and few natural disasters.

Pros and cons of living in Poland

Cons of living in Poland

  • Relatively high prices of everyday goods, such as clothes.

  • There are still elements of corruption and bureaucracy in public and budgetary institutions in Poland.

  • The public health system is overburdened and works very slowly. Many immigrants complain that it takes months to get an appointment with a specialist.

  • There are cases of negative attitudes on the part of Poles toward immigrants from CIS countries.

  • Fans of warm weather should be aware that in winter in Poland can be quite cold.

  • Despite significant progress, in comparison with Western Europe, roads in Poland are far from ideal.

  • Wages are still much lower than in more successful EU countries.

Prices and cost of living in Poland

The lion's share of expenses for foreigners in Poland is connected with renting real estate. In this respect, the country compares favorably with more developed European countries. On the other hand, earnings here are also much less. The cheapest cities to live in Poland are Bialystok, Torun and Bydgoszcz. The most expensive cities are Warsaw, Wroclaw and Gdansk.


City Up to 60 sq. m (PLN/month) Over 60 sq. m (PLN/month)
Warsaw 1,980 – 2,800 2,900 – 4,100
Wroclaw 1,480 – 2,260 2,300 – 3,000
Gdańsk 1,350 – 2,000 1,400 – 2,600
Katowice 1,280 – 1,770 1,800 – 2,400
Krakow 1,450 – 1,880 1,900 – 2,590
Lublin 1,300 – 1,690 1,700 – 2,210
Poznan 1,160 – 1,640 1,650 – 2,200

Prices in Poland in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – 4.72 zł

  • Milk (1 L) – 3.76 zł

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 11.71 zł

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 24.28 zł

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 3.12 zł

  • Polish cheese (1 kg) – 34.47 zł

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 6.21 zł

  • Apples (1 kg) – 3.73 zł

  • Petrol (1 liter) – 6.66 zł

  • Cab (1 km) – 3.00 zł

  • Public transport tickets – 4.20 zł

  • Monthly bus pass – 119 zł

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 1,029.88 zł per month

  • Mobile telephone (month) – 35.17 zł

  • Internet – 58.89 zł per month

Note. Prices are quoted in local currency – the Polish zł. The exchange rate of one zł today is 0,2 US Dollar/Euro.

Taxes in Poland

Taxes in Poland

The tax system in Poland today is almost completely in line with European standards and is characterized by simplicity and fairly low interest rates. Income tax is levied on both residents and non-residents who work under an employment contract.

Tax Rates in Poland in 2024

VAT. The basic rate is 23%. Reduced rates are 8% (delivery of medical equipment, food products), 5% (certain types of products and books) and 0% (domestic and international passenger transport).

Income tax, dividends, interest – 19%

Non-taxable amount – 30,000 PLN

Income tax:

  • Annual income from 0 to 120,000 PLN – 12% (minus 3,600 PLN)

  • Annual income over 120,000 PLN – 10,800 PLN + 32% from the amount exceeding 120,000 PLN

Social contributions (employee/employer):

  • Health insurance – 9%. At the same time, 7.75% is a tax credit, so in fact the employee is charged 1.25%.

  • Pension Fund – 27.52% (11.26/16.26%)

  • Disability insurance – 8% (1.5/6.5%)

  • Health insurance – 2.45% (employee)

  • Accident insurance – 0.67-3.33% – more than 9 employees and 1.67% up to 9 employees (employer)

  • Labor Fund – 2.45% (employer)

Jobs and wages in Poland

The unemployment rate in Poland in 2024 does not exceed 3-5%. The official minimum wage since January 1 is 27.70 zł per hour (6 euros) or 4,242 zł per month (995 euros). According to the Polish Central Statistical Office, before taxes, the average salary in Poland in 2024 is 7,978.79 zł per month (1,870 euros). After all mandatory deductions an employee has 5,769.26 zł (1,355 euros) at his or her disposal.

The highest incomes in Poland are recorded in the Mazowieckie voivodeship (Warsaw) – 9,165.69 PLN (2,335 EUR), and the lowest in the Podlaskie voivodeship (Białystok) – 6,746.48 PLN (1,720 EUR). By sector, the leaders are information technology and communications – 11,859.24 PLN (2,535 EUR) and the supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning – 9,918.65 PLN (2,120 EUR), and in terms of occupations, the highest earners are doctors – 9,000 PLN (1,925 EUR) and programmers – 8,000 PLN (1,710 EUR).

The most popular occupations in Poland in 2024 are engineers, construction workers, workers in agriculture, drivers, cooks, and trades – welders, installers, turners, electricians, masons, rebar workers, tilers. Women can work as maids, cleaners, seamstresses, packers, cashiers, and harvesters. Skilled foreign workers earn from 1,200 to 1,500 euros and above. Workers without special qualifications earn up to 500-800 euros.

Higher education in Poland

Higher education in Poland

The Polish higher education system has a long tradition, is of high quality and is in demand by foreigners. Today, more than 55 thousand students from abroad attend local university auditoriums. One of the most attractive features of studying in Poland is the relatively low cost of living. On average, it takes about 500-700 euros per month.

There are more than 500 institutions of higher education in Poland, including public and private. The prestigious QS World University Rankings 2024 include 22 universities. The most famous are the Warsaw University, the Jagiellonian University and the Polytechnic University in Warsaw. The average cost of studies in public universities in Poland for foreigners is 2-3 thousand euros per year.

Medicine in Poland

Over the last 20 years the health care system in Poland has undergone a major transformation, the quality of medical services has improved and financing has increased. The annual expenditures of the state for this sphere amount to about 4-5% of GDP. More than 40% of the funds are earmarked for the treatment of the local population in Polish hospitals.

As in most European countries, health care in Poland is based on a general health insurance system, thanks to which services are practically free of charge for local residents. In addition, there are many private clinics with qualified doctors and modern equipment.

In conclusion, life expectancy in Poland in 2024 is 78 years (74 for men and 81 for women).

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