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Definition of Polonia

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Definition: Polonia means "Poland" in Latin and other languages but, in modern Polish and English, Polonia refers to the Polish diaspora, or people of Polish descent, about 21 million, who live outside Poland (around 40 million Poles live in Poland). Countries with large populations of Poles include Germany, France, the United States, Canada, Brazil and others. The reason for this reconcentration of Poles in other elsewhere is because of the country's partitioning due to war, forced resettlement, political strife, and economic opoportunity.

Before the Holocaust, Poland had the largest population of Jews in the world, and before the establishment of Israel, they became part of the Polish diaspora that emigrated elsewhere. Now they also make up the Jewish diaspora. The number of Jews still living in Poland varies by source, but can be estimated between 8,000 and 100,000.

In the United States, there are around 10 million Americans of Polish descent, with 1 million in Chicago alone (the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw, Poland). Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, N.Y., Brooklyn, N.Y., Wallington, N.J. ("Poland on the Passaic River"), Milwaukee, Baltimore and New Britain, Conn., also have large contingents of Poles. Arizona, California and Florida are becoming the latest areas of Polish concentration as Baby Boomers are retiring to warmer temperatures.
Pronunciation: poh-LOH-nee-yuh
Examples:
Polish Constitution Day Parades are organized by many Polonia organizations as a display of ethnic pride.
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