POLISH AMERICANS AT A GLANCE
According to the U.S. Census Polish-Americans are the largest European American ethnic group in the Chicago metropolitan area, with as many as 1.5 million claiming Polish ancestry.
Polish people have been present in Chicago from the city’s early history and were influential in the economic and social development of the city.
Today Poles in Chicagoland make up the largest group of Polish people of any city outside of Poland making it one of the most important centers of Polish culture and language.
Chicago’s Polish presence is felt in the large number of Polish American organizations located there; including the Polish Museum of America, the Polish-American Association, the Polish National Alliance and the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America.
Chicago also has a thriving Polish cultural scene.
The city hosts annual Polish Film Festival of America where various Polish films are screened during the weeklong festival every November. Polish theatre productions in both Polish and English are regularly staged at numerous venues throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Chicago celebrates its Polish Heritage every Labor Day weekend with the Taste of Polonia Festival at Jefferson Park, attended by such political notables as President George H. W. Bush.