Wielkopolska is one of the largest regions in Poland. Its area is comparable to that of Belgium, and its population (3.49 million people) is greater that the population of some EU Member States, including Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia. It is also one of the most dynamically developing regions of Poland.
Its attractiveness derives among other things from favourable geographical location and well-developed transport infrastructure. The A2 motorway runs through the region, which connects Warsaw with Berlin. Poznań – the capital of Wielkopolska is located in the middle of the way between these two cities. A rail track runs parallel to the motorway, and the entire transport axis is a part of the Berlin-Warsaw-Moscow Pan-European transport corridor. At the same time, Wielkopolska lies at the intersection of the Baltic-Adriatic and North Sea-Baltic transport corridors in the framework of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
Poznań is an important economic, scientific and cultural centre. In the recent decades, it has also become a significant financial hub. The city is surrounded by an expanding agglomeration, which currently has over 1 million inhabitants (incl. the residents of Poznań). Other important cities of Wielkopolska are Gniezno – the first historic capital of Poland, Konin, Piła, Leszno, Kalisz – the oldest city in Poland, and Ostrów Wielkopolski, which together with Kalisz forms the second largest agglomeration in the region.
The region is characterised by a high level of industrial development, with the following main sectors: agri-food, automotive, furniture and electric industry. It also hosts numerous enterprises assisted by active business support institutions. A particularly important one is the Poznań International Fair, which has been in operation for nearly 100 years. The region's attractiveness for investors is widely recognised (Investment offer of the Region).
Wielkopolska focuses among other things on enhancing the research potential and technological development that supports innovativeness, developing ICT, increasing entrepreneurship, social development, infrastructure development, improving the condition of the natural environment, education and increasing effectiveness of regional management. This is reflected in the priorities of the Wielkopolska Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020, as well as the Regional Development Strategy "Wielkopolska 2030".
Wielkopolska Region is also a powerful agricultural region with considerable land resources – agricultural land covers over 60% of the region's territory. The agricultural land is mostly used for cereal farming, swine and cattle breeding and organic farming. Many regional and traditional products from Wielkopolska received EU quality labels "Protected Geographical Indication" and "Traditional Speciality Guaranteed".
Wielkopolska is also a region of an exceptional touristic attractiveness. Apart from its cities, tourists can also enjoy historic and cultural trails. One example is the Piast Route, which combines the most important facilities and historic sites related to the beginnings of the Polish state. Another well-known route is the Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska – a tourist trail running along the major rivers of the region. The region may also pride itself with numerous areas of nature protection, including two national parks, 14 landscape parks, many nature reserves and NATURA 2000 sites.
Capital: Poznań – 534,813 inhabitants
Area: 29,826 km²
Population: 3,498,733 inhabitants
Population density: 117 inhabitants / km²
Unemployment rate: 3.1%
GDP per capita: PLN 59,355 (2018)
Number of enterprises: 448,670
Main export destinations: Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden
Selected major enterprises: Jeronimo Martins Polska SA, Grupa Eurocash SA, GK Enea SA, Volkswagen Poznań Sp. z o.o., Żabka Polska Sp. z o.o., Lidl Polska, Solaris Bus and Coach, Phillips Lighting Poland, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, , Kompania Piwowarska SA
Higher education institutions: 32
Source: Central Statistical Office 2019