About Poland

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  • Population: 38.4 million
  • Languages: Polish
  • Main religions: Roman Catholic (90%), Unspecified (8%), Other (2%)

About Polish-Americans

  • Local population: About 26,000 of Polish ancestry
  • Why they came here: The earliest Polish immigrants to the area were seeking work in the textile mills. Many later immigrants were refugees from the two World Wars
  • When they came: The 1880s and the post-World War II years

More resources:

  • "The Polish American Encyclopedia," by James Pula
  • "A History of the Polish Americans," by John Bukowczyk

Eleanor Virkler, 78, of West Winfield, admires her first butter lamb after putting the flag on as a finishing touch. Virkler attended the 3rd Annual Kopernik Association and Polish Community Center Palm Sunday Craft Workshop in Utica. Credit: Keshia Clukey/Observer-Dispatch
John Ossowski plays the 'Anniversary Waltz' on the accordion at the Utica Public Library in 2011. Though Ossowski plays all types of music, he said he enjoys playing Polish music because he is Polish. Credit: Kathleen Duncan/Observer-Dispatch

Learn more about the history of Polish immigrants in Utica

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Utica College, O-D archives