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Katowice is a city in southwestern Poland and the center of the Silesian Metropolis, with a population of 299,910 as of 2015. Katowice is a center of science, culture, industry, business, trade, and transportation in Upper Silesia and southern Poland, and the main city in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region. Katowice lies within an urban zone, with a population of 2,746,460 according to Eurostat, and also part of the wider Silesian metropolitan area, with a population of 5,294,000 according to the European Spatial Planning Observation Network. Today, Katowice is an emerging metropolis. The whole metropolitan area is the 16th most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union with an output amounting to $114.5 billion. Katowice has been the capital of the Silesian Voivodeship since its formation in 1999. Previously it was the capital of the Katowice Voivodeship, the autonomous Silesian Voivodeship in Poland, and the Province of Upper Silesia in Germany.

 

Area: 164.7 km²

Population: Estimate 293,161

Currency

  • The Polish złoty is the Official Currency.

Conurbation

Katowice lies in the centre of the largest conurbation in Poland, one of the largest in the European Union, numbering about 2.7 million. Urban expansion boomed in the 19th century thanks to the rapid development of the mining and metallurgical industries. The Katowice urban area consists of about 40 adjacent cities and towns, the whole Silesian metropolitan area (mostly within the Upper Silesian Coal Basin) over 50 cities/town. The metropolitan area has a population of 5,294,000. In 2006, Katowice and 14 adjacent cities united as the Upper Silesian Metropolis. Its population is 2 million and its area is 1,104 km2. In 2006-2007 the union planned to unite these cities in one city under the name “Silesia”, but this proved unsuccessful

Economy

Katowice is a large coal and steel center. It has several coal mines (Wujek Coal Mine, Mysłowice-Wesoła Coal Mine, Wieczorek Coal Mine, Murcki Coal Mine, Staszic Coal Mine) organized into unions—Katowice Coal Holding company (pl: Katowicki Holding Węglowy), two steelworks (Huta Baildon, Huta Ferrum), and one foundry of non-ferrous metals (Huta Metali Nieżelaznych Szopienice). Katowice is a large business and trade fair center. Every year in Katowice International Fair and Spodek, tens of international trade fairs are organized. Katowice has the second largest business centre in Poland (after Warsaw Business Centre). Skyscrapers stand along Chorzowska, Korfantego and Roździeńskiego street in the centre. The newest office buildings (A-class) are the Chorzowska 50, Altus Skyscraper and Silesia Towers (under construction). Katowice is the seat of Katowice Special Economic Zone (Katowicka Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna). The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Poland, at 2{43434634a102b79f0196acd88b951e13197b935185581e7c75ce05275037330b} (2008). The city is still characterized by its working class strength and attracts many people from neighbouring cities (other districts USMU seeking jobs. The average monthly salary is the highest in Poland—about 4222,52 zł (~$1,220), in Warsaw about 4135,93 zł (~$1,200).[

 

Health systems

Health care in Poland is delivered through a publicly funded health care system, which is free for all the citizens of Poland provided they fall into the “insured” category (usually meaning that they have their health insurance paid for by their employer, or are the spouse or child of an insured person).

 

Language

Polish is the Official Language.

 

Transport

 

Airports

Lobby from the upper level in terminal B in Katowice International Airport. The city and the area are served by the Katowice International Airport, about 30 km (19 mi) from the city center. With over 20 international and domestic flights daily, it is by far the biggest airport in Silesia (~2,5 million passengers served in 2008; 2 terminals, A and B). Because of the long distance to the airport, there is a proposal to convert the much closer sport aviation Katowice-Muchowiec Airport into a city airport for smaller, business-oriented traffic.

Public transport

The public transportation system of the Katowice and Upper Silesian Metropolis consists of four branches—buses and trams united in the KZK GOP and the regional rail. Additional services are operated by private companies and the state-owned railways.

Railways

Upper Silesian Railway reached the area in 1846. Katowice Central Station is one of the main railway nodes and exchange points in Poland. It has replaced the old Katowice historic train station.

Trams

Silesian Interurbans – one of the largest tram systems in the world, in existence since 1894. It spreads for more than 50 kilometres (31 miles)

Weather

The climate is temperate-continental. The average temperature is 8.2 °Celsius (−1.5 °C (29 °F) in January and up to 18 °C (64 °F) in July). Yearly rainfall averages at 608.5 mm (23.96 in). Characteristic weak winds blow at about 2 m/s from the west, the Moravian Gate.