The following article attempts to analyze and interpret the findings of the National Census 2002 with respect to national and ethnic minorities. Apart from a concise summary of numerical data from particular voivodships, more attention is paid to such issues as: methodological remarks regarding questions about the respondents' national identity entailed in the census and the effects of asking such questions, factors distorting one's declaration of national identity, some comments and reactions of minorities to the census results. I take a morę analytic approach towards the three biggest minorities: German, Ukraininan and Byelorussian ones. The census data provide many important data but only when we treat them as complementary information and also when the numbers are somehow considered relative to the situation of a particular minority, as well as the direction and stage of that situation's change. Thanks to the census we know much morę about national and ethnic minorities in Poland. This knowledge is, however, secondary, partial, allowing more for formulating hypotheses than firm conclusions. For example we know for sure that there exists a Silesian identification functioning as a basie ethnic identity, which cannot be narrowed to a regional identity. However, we do not know much about the further evolution of this community. Key words: national census, ethnic and national minorities, national identification.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.