Although the economic lockdown has severely affected the budgets of many families, almost 60% of Małopolska residents claim that the financial situation of their households has not deteriorated.

In turn, 21% believe that in the next 12 months the wealth of their wallets will improve. These are just some of the results of a special edition of the Małopolska Opinion Survey conducted by the research and analytical unit of the Marshal’s Office – the Regional Development Observatory of the Małopolska Region. These data will help even better plan and implement the actions of the region self-government in the fight against the effects of the pandemic.

The survey was conducted at the turn of July and August, i.e. at the time when many residents made decisions about their holidays plans. In total, over 3,000 telephone surveys were carried out, 500 in each of the six subregions.

Labor market

The effects of the pandemic shifted the situation on the regional labor market, although they did not contribute to a severe increase in the unemployment rate. As shown by the results of the survey, over 47% of employed Małopolska residents are skeptical about the situation in their workplace compared to the situation before the pandemic. In turn, almost 18% of working respondents declared that as a result of the pandemic someone in their household lost it job or stopped earning. They were, in particular, young people aged 18–24, people with basic vocational education and inhabitants of the Nowy Targ subregion.

However, the fact that over 70% of employed Małopolska residents believe in improving or at least not deteriorating the situation in their workplace within the next year can be considered positive. Ensuring the continuity of work under the conditions of the applicable restrictions was often made possible by remote work, which was used by 44% of the region’s inhabitants.

Fighting the pandemic

From the very beginning of the crisis, the self-government of the Małopolska Region actively organized support in the most sensitive areas. The most important initiative in this regard is the Małopolska Anti-Crisis Shield, thanks to one billion złoty was allocated to, among others, support for hospitals, entrepreneurs, schools and 24-hour care facilities. The scale of operation of regional self-government authorities is evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of Małopolska residents (75%) have heard about the initiatives they undertake, including the most, as many as 61%, about the Małopolska Anti-Crisis Shield. The next places in terms of recognition were, among others, such campaigns as “Małopolska Recommend” (28%), “Kultura w Sieci” (17%) or “Together for Tourism” (17%).

Health and prevention

Among the inhabitants of the region, support for the restrictions introduced to fight the pandemic is dominant. Over 70% of Małopolska residents are in favor of maintaining measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as wearing masks or maintaining physical distance. The greatest number of such declarations was made by respondents with higher education, seniors, city dwellers and Kraków residents. The pandemic also influenced the positive habits of Małopolska residents related to health prevention.

As many as 86% of respondents declared that they wash their hands more often and point it to their loved ones. In turn, over 3/4 pay more attention to their health and appreciate its value more. The respondents were also asked about using health care services on-line. As it turned out, more than half of the respondents used e-prescriptions. Telepaths with both the general practitioner (39%) and the specialist doctor (24%) were also relatively popular.

Summer trips

The Małopolska Region has been attracting tourists from Poland and around the world for years. This year, however, was different. Epidemiological restrictions, for example related to running restaurants or hotels, and the temporary closure of borders have seriously threatened many entrepreneurs from the tourism industry. This situation also affected the holiday plans of the Małopolska residents themselves. As declared by the inhabitants of the region, 57% of them decided to spend at least one night on a vacation, of which almost 24% planned it in the Małopolska Region. The most frequently mentioned reasons for resignation from the leave were the fear of coronavirus infection and the lack of financial resources.

At the same time, 32% of respondents admitted that due to the pandemic they changed the form of spending their holidays compared to previous years. The Opinion Survey of Małopolska residents also included issues related to e-culture and social capital. Full statements will be included in the comprehensive research report, which will soon be published on the website of the Regional Development Observatory of the Małopolska Region.

In the meantime, we encourage you to read the cross-sectional summary of the most important results of the Małopolska Opinion Survey.

The value of goods and services shipped from the Małopolska Region has increased in 2019, reaching 10.37 billion EUR. In comparison, in 2018 it amounted to 10.11 billion EUR. For another year in a row, the Małopolska Region ranks 6th in terms of the volume of export in the country.

Małopolska – export and import

The value of import in Małopolska Region exceeded the barrier of 10 billion EUR and exceeded the value of exports (by over EUR 172 million). Małopolska imported goods with a total value of 10.54 billion EUR, but recorded a decrease compared to the previous year (10.82 billion EUR). Both in Poland and Małopolska we can see a significant decrease in the growth rate of imports. In recent years, it has remained at the level of around 10%. In 2019, it reached 4% nationwide, and in the case of the Małopolska Region, it dropped to -2.6%.

Export and import in Poland

The value of goods and services sent from Poland in 2019 amounted to 233.97 billion EUR, which compared to 2018, means an increase by over 14.79 billion EUR. The value of goods imported to Poland in 2019 amounted to 229.72 billion EUR. In the previous years, the export / import balance was positive. Domestic import amounted to 229.72 billion EUR. This is another significant year-on-year increase and the first period when the value of import exceeded 220 billion EUR. Year-on-year increase in the value of export in Poland reached 6.7%. This is a slight slowdown compared to 2018 (8.2%).

Total export and import for the country

The share of Małopolska Region in generating total export and import for the country (the value of the contribution index) has been falling for the third year in a row. Both in the case of shipped and imported goods, the decrease was relatively insignificant – with exports from 4.6% to 4.4%, and with import from 4.9% to 4.6%. Nevertheless, these values ​​are the lowest in years. However, attention should be paid to the constant increase in the value of goods and services classified as “Unclassified”, both in export and import, which has been progressing for years. This results in a decrease in the share of the value of the contribution rate for individual regions, and at the same time does not have to mean a decrease in their role.

Chart 1. The value of export and import in Poland and Małopolska Region in 2015-2019 (in billion EUR )


Source: Own study based on data

Export and import in other regions

The regions with the highest value of export (each over 27 billion EUR) are Mazowieckie and Śląskie. They generate nearly a quarter of domestic export. Wielkopolska and Dolnośląskie are the regions, where export exceeds 20 billion EUR in value. The next region in the ranking – Dolnośląskie, however, had the highest increase in euro compared to 2018 – the value of exported goods increased by 2.3 billion EUR. Apart from the above-mentioned regions, only the Pomorskie sends goods of greater value (11.85 billion EUR).When it comes to generating domestic export, the Mazowieckie and Śląskie dominate. They generate respectively 12.3% (Mazowieckie) and 12% (Śląskie) of the value of domestic export.

The Małopolska Region produces 4.4% of national export, which places the region invariably on the 6th position.The value of import in the Mazowieckie, the best in the country, at the level of 61.52 billion EUR, is almost equal to the total of three subsequent regions in the list – Wielkopolskie (23.07 billion EUR), Śląskie (21.34 billion EUR) and Dolnośląskie (18.26 billion EUR). In 2019, six regions recorded an increase in the value of import, nine a decrease (including Małopolska), and only the Lubelskie did not record any changes.

Chart 2. The value of export in Polish regions in 2018-2019 (in billion euro)


Source: Own study based on data

The value of export and import per capita

The regions of the western part of Poland are dominators in case of export value per capita. The highest level was achieved by Dolnośląskie (7.1 thousand EUR per capita), followed by Wielkopolskie and Lubuskie. Above the average for Poland, the value of export per capita is also recorded in Mazowieckie and Pomorskie. The Małopolska Region reached the value of the indicator at the level of 3 thousand EUR per person.The value of imports per population in Polish regions increased to 6,000 EUR per person.

The Mazowieckie remains the regional leader (increase from 11.1 thousand EUR to 11.3 thousand EUR). In five regions there was an increase in the value of imports per capita, the highest increase was recorded in the Dolnośląskie (from 5.5 thousand EUR to 6.2 thousand EUR). Three regions, i.e. Pomorskie, Zachodniopomorskie and Podlaskie, maintained the value of import per capita at the same level as in 2018. However, as many as eight regions recorded a decrease in the value of import per capita compared to the previous year.

Chart 3. The value of export per capita in Polish regions in 2018-2019 (in EUR thousand)


Source: Own study based on data

We invite you to read the report Foreign trade in Poland and Małopolska 2019. Basic data (Polish language version).



The report answers the question how much most of the air pollution generated by humans, including heavy industry, low emissions, automotive, affect business operations?

Air pollution and selected industries

The feedback is taken from representatives of the travel, outsourcing and industrial companies and the main acpect concerns the phenomenon of sick absence related to exposure to polluted air in the Małopolska Region. The study was conducted in three groups of entities in which the level of air pollution plays different but important role. For the tourist industry, the occurrence of natural values ​​and the condition of the natural environment is crucial. Air pollution in naturally attractive areas can, for example, discourage tourists from visiting such places, which of course will lead directly to the outflow of capital from the tourism business. In the business services industry (outsourcing), air pollution is treated as an indicator of the quality of life and attractiveness of a place from the point of view of locating investments in the area of ​​services and advanced technologies. On the other hand, in the industrial sector, economic activity is associated with the generation of pollution and incurring the costs of their emission and reduction.

Causes of air pollution

Although we are increasingly aware of the importance of ecological behavior in our everyday lives, there aren’t still enough resolute, systemic and common solutions that would eliminate the problem of polluted air. We are already used to living in a contaminated and depleted environment, but it is not a natural state in which man and nature can exist. As long as its resources and balance are not disturbed, nature is able to absorb pollution to some extent and regenerate itself. But humanity is on the border of this balance, and its exceeding may eventually prove irreversible.

According to the definition, the cause of air pollution, in addition to natural factors, such as volcanic eruptions or forest fires, is the introduction of solid, liquid or gaseous substances into the air in such quantities that may threaten human health, negatively affect climate, living nature, soil or water, and cause other damage to the environment. This has been happening since the outbreak of the industrial revolution and the emission of pollutants is increasing every year, although in recent years its decline has been noticeable, especially SO2 (by 59%). Despite this, a huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) [336 557] is still released into the atmosphere – in this case even an increase of 6% was recorded, carbon monoxide (CO) [2,534], non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) [948], oxides nitrogen (NOX) [804] and ammonia (NH3) [308] [in thousand tonnes data for 2017]. In turn, dust emission of 341 thous. tone.

Map 1. Average annual PM2.5 dust concentration (µg / m³) from modeling results together with results from measuring stations in 2018.


Source: Instytut Ochrony Środowiska – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy i Główny Inspektorat Ochrony Środowiska, own calculations

Absence from work causes trouble

Małopolska Region inhabitants’ lose from 2.05 million to 2.23 million working days a year due to air pollution. In terms of the number of days of sick leave due to poor air quality, the highest number for the analyzed years was obtained by Kraków. This is not only due to the state of the environment, but mainly due to the largest population of the city in the province. Krakow has the largest number of lost work days: in the after-heating season of 150,000 and 430 thousand during the heating season. The threefold difference between the seasons is mainly due to the significant difference in air quality between these periods. The worst month in years 2015–2018 was January, which means that, on average, this is the worst period in terms of smog and it has the most lost work days attributable to air pollution.

The average annual number of sick days absence for Małopolska is 2.12 million. The average annual cost of lost working days associated with the gross salary is 400 million PLN. Among diseases related to air pollution in Małopolska, the most represented groups of diseases (% of absenteeism days per group of diseases) are respiratory diseases (14%), nervous system diseases (6.6%), mental disorders and behavioral disorders (6, 2%), cardiovascular disease (4.6%), cancer (3.4%).

Map 2. Number of sick days absence attributed to air pollution (%) in 2018.


Source: Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, own calculations

Małopolska’s investment attractiveness and the environment

Małopolska is the region where environmental pollution and its protection have a dual impact on economic development. On the one hand, there are areas with a very high investment attractiveness for industry (Kraków and Oświęcim subregions), and on the other, attractive areas for economic activity based on environmental and natural values ​​(recreational tourism, spa tourism, health care, services establishing the work of specialists for whom good life conditions are crucial for employment’s decision).

The report clearly shows how the diversity of Małopolska is shaped in terms of investment attractiveness at the level of subregions. For example, the Kraków subregion together with City of Kraków is characterized by the highest level of investment attractiveness in industry, services and technologically advanced activities. Similarly, the highest level of investment attractiveness in industrial activity has the Oświęcim subregion. There was still a high level of investment attractiveness in the service area in the Tarnów subregion.

Read the report in Polish version.








Health protection, ecological awareness, social economy, culture digitalization, social media – these issues were found in the 9th edition of the research opinions of the residents of Malopolska Region 2019.

The residents of Małopolska Region voiced their views on factors affecting health, performing check-up and preventive examinations, assessing a degree of air pollution in the place of residence, sharing knowledge about ecology and taking action to protect the environment. The study also included the subject of social economy and knowledge of the offer of social enterprises, needs and preferences regarding the use of digitized resources of cultural heritage were examined, and how małopolska residents use social media.

One of the most important issues raised in the study was health protection and preventive services. Health topics, especially prevention, have occupied a lot of space for weeks in social life, as well as in the media, especially in the face of the current covid-19 epidemic. Although the study was carried out a few months before the pandemic, it contains many interesting opinions about the general health condition of Małopolska residents

Health – O.K! Research – not necessarily

According to 64% of Małopolska respondents, the factor that determines the health condition of the population to the greatest extent is lifestyle (e.g. physical activity, diet, rest). According to the respondents, access to healthcare is the least important (1/4 of the declaration). So, do residents of Małopolska attach importance to prevention and check-ups before they get sick? It turns out that the inhabitants of the region usually carry out check-ups only if disturbing symptoms occure (55.7% of opinions) and at the request of a doctor (40.1%). The most systematic in carrying out control tests are the inhabitants of Krakow, because over 40.0% responded “I do it systematically”. The fewest declarations were made by respondents from the Sądecki subregion – 28.9%, as well as young people aged 18-24.

Almost 85.0% of respondents declare that in the last two years they performed basic tests (including blood or urine tests, ultrasound examination). Over 3/4 of them underwent a blood pressure test, and what is significant, hypertension is indicated as one of the most common complaints among the inhabitants of Małopolska (1/4 of respondents). As for women-dedicated tests, over 68.0% of female in Małopolska admit that they have had cytological tests in the last two years, 65.4% have had a gynecological ultrasound scan, but only 44.1% have indicated that they were doing a breast ultrasound or mammography at that time . The situation is slightly worse among male because in the last two years prostate tests were performed by less than 1/4 of male respondents.

Picture 1. Factors which determining the most a health condition of the population in Małopolska Region


There’s a deficit of clean air

According to independent data, polluted air increases the risk of many diseases, including respiratory and circulatory systems. Małopolska’s residents also pay attention to the fact that the external environment (e.g. air quality, working conditions) can significantly affect health. Meanwhile, despite many efforts directed at environmentally friendly solutions, Małopolska Region is still struggling with the problem of polluted air. As many as 60.0% of the Małopolska respondents assess the degree of air pollution in their place of residence as “very high” or “high”. The inhabitants of Krakow pay special attention to this problem, as up to half of them think that their place of residence has “very high” air pollution. The inhabitants of the Nowy Targ subregion have a different opinion, only 4.4% think that the air condition is bad.

Chart 1. Assessment of the level of air pollution at the place of residence in Małopolska Region


Active on the Internet

Małopolska Region is one of the richest and most culturally diverse regions in Europe, and Krakow itself boasts several million exhibits in its museums. The preservation of all kinds of cultural goods in digital format has become possible thanks to the digitization process. The inhabitants of Małopolska know that there is an electronic, digitized form of culture, and the inhabitants of Krakow demonstrate the greatest knowledge in this area – 77.4%. The most popular are the so-called contemporary works (e.g. e-books, films, TV programs) available via the Internet – 60.6%. The second position is taken by library resources (e.g. books, old prints, manuscripts, maps, notes) – 38.6%.

As regards the use of social media, as many as 86.4% of respondents declared that they had an account on at least one website. Facebook is the most popular social website among Małopolska inhabitants (69.3%). In the case of the three websites most frequently indicated by respondents, i.e. Facebook, Instagram and Nasza-Klasa, the main motive for having an account is “keeping in touch with friends, groups of friends”.

Chart 2. A state of knowledge among Małopolska’s inhabitants about the possibilities of using digital resources of culture and their age


Social economy – what is that?

Social economy through the eyes of Małopolska residents is a chapter devoted to knowledge about this sector of the economy where all projects are oriented on social utility. From a formal point of view, the social economy is usually associated with activities on the border of the private and public sectors. Inhabitants of the region are most often associated with local development and “entrepreneurship” (37.5% and 27.8%). Almost 60.0% of respondents have never met the offer of social enterprises. About 1/5 of responses concerned the answer “yes – in the media (Internet, TV, press, etc.)”. According to the data, the youngest respondents (i.e. 18-24 years) are the age group that most often meets the offer of social enterprises. Interestingly, the offer of social enterprises is the least frequently encountered by the inhabitants of the city of Krakow – 67.6%.

The survey of the inhabitants of Małopolska has been conducted since 2012, and one of its goals is to present the diversity of opinions of the inhabitants of Małopolska in relation to their place of residence in individual subregions of the region. Such analysis is a hint to identify the key challenges facing development policy in territorial cross-section. The study involved residents of all six Małopolska’s subregions, and a total of 3002 computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted. At least 500 respondents participated in the study in each of the territorial areas.

Source of charts and maps in the article: own study based on research results.

Read the report in Polish language

Purchase of equipment for hospitals and money for entrepreneurs – The Management Board of the Małopolska Region has decided to allocate 325 million złoty from the regional operational program to combat the effects of the epidemic in the region.

Coronavirus attacks health and the economy

Małopolska is increasingly experiencing the effects of the global pandemic caused by coronavirus from Wuhan. This is not only a test for the healthcare system, but above all a huge challenge for entrepreneurs who found themselves in a crisis due to restrictions imposed by quarantine requirements. Under current circumstances the fact that Malopolska is the most visited region in the country does not fill us with pride as much as anxiety. In all industries strongly associated with tourism, which will certainly suffer from the impending recession, i.e. accommodation and catering, there are about 13.6 thousand companies. Another 1.9 thousand companies operate as tourism organizers.

Minimizing the negative effects of the pandemic is not just a recommendation, but a clear necessity. Therefore, taking advantage of the possibility of flexible use of funds from the Regional Operational Program for Małopolska, the Management Board has decided to allocate part of the money to combat the effects of the epidemic in the region. The Małopolska Anti-Crisis Shield is PLN 325 million which will help to protect the economy and purchase the equipment necessary to save human lives.

Who will get the money?

The Małopolska Anti-Crisis Shield is consisting of the three packages addressed to the healthcare and business sector. The resources will be donated to hospitals and entrepreneurs, thus protecting the jobs of thousands of inhabitants.

Anti-Crisis Shield for Małopolska – Three sources of support:

  • MEDICAL PACKAGE – PLN 94 million for the purchase of the most necessary medical equipment to save human lives and treat people infected with coronavirus, including ambulances, room disinfectants as well as personal protective equipment. After obtaining additional contribution from the government, the total budget for this purpose will be PLN 115 million.
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP PACKAGE – PLN 192 million earmarked for protecting enterprises against the negative economic effects of the pandemic as well as supporting job retention. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for a subsidy as compensation for lost revenues. There will be no requirement to carry out a new investment or to demonstrate a high level of innovation. The co-financing mechanism will be described in details after the legal bases are developed by the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy – this process is currently underway.
  • FINANCIAL PACKAGE – PLN 35 million intended for keeping enterprises afloat by launching low-interest loans, including working capital (without the investment part required, as mentioned). The new loans offer will be made available in cooperation with National Economy Bank, and the assistance may be increased depending on the needs.

In addition, it should also be mentioned that additional funds have been previously spent on hospitals in Malopolska, which gives a total help value of PLN 325 million.

More information for entrepreneurs

All information on the activities and facilities prepared by the regional government is available at Regional Operational Program of Małopolska Region website in Funds and coronavirus section. You will also find there information about changes and shifts in the deadlines for calls for proposals introduced by institutions announcing competitions and other news important for those who want to implement EU projects during the pandemic.

Current news about european funds in Małopolska and their spending in the current epidemic situation can also be found on the Facebook profile: MałopolskaFunduszeEuropejskie

Publication contains analysis of Smart Specializations in Małopolska Region’s projects, which have been selected for co-financing and contracted for regional and national operational programs.

The analysis answears following questions:

  • which specialization areas the biggest amount of applications for regional and national operational programs were registered in?
  • which county (powiat) in Małopolska Region is the most effective in obtaining funds for projects in the areas of Smart Specializations?
  • how many entities belonging to Smart Specializations operate in particular counties of the Małopolska region?

Smart Specializations in Małopolska Region set strategic directions for the region’s development by supporting cooperation in the sphere of science and business, help to create innovative and modern solutions. Seven Smart Specializations support areas with the highest development potential and strengthen the region’s competitiveness.

Enterprises, that implement innovative projects, fit into the following fields:

  • life science,
  • sustainable energy,
  • information and communication technologies,
  • chemistry,
  • production of metals, metal products and non-metallic material products,
  • electrical engeneering and machine-building industry,
  • creative and leisure industries,

have the opportunity to apply for additional sources of financing, including the Regional Operational Program.

According to the analysis, 711 co-financing agreements were signed under the first and third axis of the Regional Operational Program with a value of over 1.4 billion złoty. Applicants who represent the specialization of chemistry and production of metals, metal products and non-metallic material products, have achieved the greatest effectiveness. Applicants from around Chrzanów, Oświęcim and Wadowice are the most effective, while the least successful come from Nowy Targ county.

Among 1,146 completed or implemented projects, which do not belong to the Regional Operational Program I and III axes, 327 (28.5%) were associated with at least one Smart Specialization. There was an above average demand for a design service within creative and leisure industries, and for LivingLab as part of information and communication technologies (in both cases it was over half of all projects applying for innovation vouchers).

Specializations in six counties were distinguished:

  • chemistry in Myślenice and Olkusz,
  • production of metals, metal products and non-metallic material product in Limanowa,
  • electrical engeneering and machine-building industry in Brzesko,
  • creative and leisure industries in the Sucha Beskidzka and Nowy Targ.

The distribution of the number of fields / technologies shows the strong dominance of Krakow.

Companies located in Małopolska Region submitted almost 2,000 projects related to the national Smart Specializations to the Intelligent Development Operational Program (it was the third highest result among 16 polish regions). The average value of projects from Małopolska amounted to slightly below 4.3 million złoty, which was an average result compared to other regions. Kraków is the seat of almost half of the units in the area of ​​Smart Specializations. Clearly the least (about 0.6% each) of such entities are located in three counties: Proszowice, Dąbrowa Tarnowska and Miechów.

Read the report (in Polish language)

Read the guide “Małopolska Smart Specializations”


We would like to wish all our friends, co-workers and partners warm and peaceful Easter. Let this festive period be a time of joy and respite, and the spring will bring serenity and optimism. Above all, we wish you health, prosperity and mutual kindness to overcome all difficulties.

The Team of Regional Development Observatory of Małopolska Region

“A human being on the road – with respect for itself, others, nature” – the theme of this year’s Kraków Conference encouraged to discussion about various aspects of the condition of modern human.

What kind of threats result from geopolitical competition to human? What does spirituality look like in the modern world? What is the health condition of our society? Participants of the event, which took place in the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) in Kraków, had discussed about problems and challenges for two days, argued and inspired. The conference was organized by the Regional Development Observatory of Małopolska Region.

The Kraków Conferences are a series of debates organized every year since 2008. They show Poland’s position on the international arena in the context of progressive economic and social changes.

An introductory speech of this year’s event was given by professor Jan Tadeusz Duda, Chairman of the Małopolska Region Assembly. He recalled the words of Antoine de Saint – Exupéry: “We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children.” That is why it is so important that we should care for the earth and do everything to at least leave it in the same condition as we received from our parents. – he said.

Participants often pointed out that the world was changing very quickly and it strictly depends on us which direction it will go in.

Will our current actions have positive or negative impact on the world in 10 or 50 years? Will next generations be able to enjoy fresh, healthy food, general safety, growing economy, and our family that performs the most important social functions?

This year’s conference has been divided into five panels:

  • In the face of constant change – a global race in geopolitical chaos.
  • A human being for the world or the world for the human being? Justice and sustainable development among generations.
  • Spirituality in the world 2.0. How much of a human being in a person?
  • Małopolska Region – a leader in the fight for a healthy citizen.
  • We are what we eat – food in the 21st century.

The event was held under the honorary patronage of Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.

You can find more about the event on the Kraków Conferences website.

The number of foreigners holding valid residence permits issued in Małopolska is increasing, accounting for 39.8 thousand at the end of May 2019

The number of foreigners who live and work in the Małopolska Region is increasing every year. In particular, this process intensified after 2014. There was also a dispersion of the stream of immigrants so far concentrated in few regions, with Warsaw and the Mazowieckie Region. At the end of May 2019, 39.8 thousand had valid residence permits issued by the Małopolska.

The purpose of the study is to update information on foreigners staying and working in Małopolska, the scale of their inflow and structure. The basic data were residence permits and documents authorizing them to work in Poland.

Foreigners in Malopolska – main conclusions:

  • The most common document is a temporary residence permit, owned by 23 thousand of foreigners. In 2018, the reason for issuing of more than half of such documents was work. Another 12% was granted due to stay with another foreigner.
  • Labour migration to Małopolska increased significantly in the recent years. Only in 2018 over 35.2 thousand work permits, a temporary stay and work permit, as well as so called „blue cards” were issued. At the same year, local employment offices registered 112.8 thousand declarations of entrusting work to foreigner.
  • Immigrants are most often employed in industry and construction sectors, performing simple works. In 2018 54.5% of issued work permits and 71% of registered declarations concerned employment in these two sectors of economy.
  • However, the number of foreign specialists working in Małopolska increases as well. In 2018 the share of work permits issued for specialists was 6%. Almost 1.2 thousand work permits were granted to computer specialists. „Blue cards” (work permits granted due to employment in profession requiring high qualifications) accounted for 7% of permits for temporary stay. Their number more than doubled comparing to previous year.
  • Labour migration stream is dominated by men. In 2018 women accounted for only 22.5% of foreigners for whom work permits were granted and 31% of those, for whom declarations were registered. More than 80% of foreigners with work permits issued in 2018 were less than 45 years old.
  • Ukrainians are the largest group of immigrants in Małopolska. They account for more than half of foreigners holding valid residence permits. Ukrainian citizens are also the most numerous among immigrants for whom work permits were issued and declarations were registered in 2018.
  • In 2018 almost 4.5 thousand of foreign citizens were attending kindergartens and schools in Małopolska. Their number increased tenfold between 2014 and 2018. The majority (80%) is concentrated in educational institutions in Kraków.
  • Also, the number of foreigners studying at universities in Małopolska increases. At the end of November 2017 there were almost 8.4 thousand foreign students. The most popular fields of study were connected to business, administration and law, social science, as well as journalism and information.


The report “Foreigners in the Polish social security system in Malopolska region” is available in Polish.

According to studies conducted over the years 2012-2018, 10% of all inventions submitted to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland were developed in Małopolska region.

The report prepared by the Małopolska Regional Development Observatory presents a number of information on the state and structure of inventive activity in Małopolska in the years 2012-2018. The analysis covers, among others, such issues as:• number of inventions and designs and utility applications submitted to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland,• number of patents and protection rights granted,• types of entities submitting inventions and utility models and their leaders,• technological classification by Ulrich Schmoch, dividing technology fields into 35 types. Analysts have taken into account, such issues as: the activity of inventors in Małopolska, comparison to other voivodships, division of entities by sections of the Polish Classification of Activities, inventive activity in individual regions (powiaty) of Małopolska.

Małopolska among the national leaders of inventiveness

According to research conducted over the years 2012-2018, 10% of all inventions submitted to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland were developed in Małopolska region. Entities in Małopolska that worked on innovative technological, product or process solutions submitted 2,972 inventions. Only two regions turned out to be better – Mazovia, where over twice as many inventions were reported (6,106), and Silesia, where 3,742 inventions were reported.

The same situation applies to utility models, except that in the case of Małopolska, more than three times less utility models have been reported than inventions to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. The 809 utility designs submitted give Małopolska the third place in the country, after Mazovia (1,141 designs submitted) and Silesia (1,163 utility designs submitted). In the years 2012-2018, patents were granted for 63.2% of the inventions reported – 1,879 patents, which gives Małopolska the fifth position, after regions such as Opolskie (83.2%), Dolnośląskie (72.7%), and Lubelskie (65.2%) and Silesia (63.7%).

Małopolska, with a result of 62.9% (509 protection rights), was on the 12th position in the country in terms of protection rights granted by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. In this case, the group of three leaders included the following voivodships: Podlaskie (82.8%), Podkarpackie (80.5%) and Opolskie (79.0%).

Science is the future

Higher education, which dominates in terms of creating innovative technologies, fares favorably in Małopolska. The share of universities in Małopolska in the creation and submission of inventions as well as utility models is the highest in the country (12.4% and 14.2%, respectively). In 2012-2018, Małopolska’s universities submitted a total of 1,160 inventions and 75 utility models.

These results represent, respectively, 39.0% of the total inventions and 9.3% of the total utility models submitted by all Małopolska entities and institutions during the last seven years.The leader of all universities in terms of the number of reported inventions was the University of Science and Technology in Kraków (AGH), with the result of 668 applications (57.6%). The top three universities initiating innovative solutions also include the Krakow University of Technology (Politechnika Krakowska) (294 inventions – 25.3%) and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (164 inventions – i.e. 14.1%).

New solutions in the form of utility models were developed in the years 2012-2018 only in the case of four universities in Małopolska, most of which concerned: the Krakow University of Technology (31 utility models – 41.3%), the University of Science and Technology in Kraków (29 utility models – 38.7%) and the University of Agriculture in Kraków – 14 utility models – 18.7%.

The report “The state and structure of inventive activity in Małopolska region in 2012-2018” is available in Polish.