Among the 20 richest Polish municipalities, 12 are rural, five urban and three urban-rural, indicates the Polish Economic Institute (PIE). The richest communes are the so-called Polish emirates, which means places where large mines are located.
According to the Institute, it is commonly believed that one of the most important differences between towns and villages in Poland is the level of wealth measured by the revenues of the budgets of local government units. The data for 2019 also confirm the intuition: cities have on average higher total incomes per capita, and the difference is particularly significant in the case of their own incomes. PIE indicates that the majority of this difference is due to the share in the tax on natural persons, which is allocated to municipalities.
However, 12 of the 20 richest Polish communes are rural ones. They are called "Polish emirates", that is places where large mines are located. This applies, for example, to Kleszczów and Rząśnia, which benefit from the location of the Bełchatów lignite mine and power plants in their area. According to PIE, the second type of rich small municipalities are tourist resorts and spas. This group includes, for example, Rewal, Postomino, Karpacz.
The third group of affluent rural communes are those that benefit from the agglomeration effects, i.e. they are located near the metropolis – for example Nadarzyn near Warsaw or Tarnowo Podgórne, located near Poznań, where 5,000 companies provide employment for approx. 40,000 people.
According to the PIE, the prosperity of communes does not result from agriculture, but it is influenced by geographic effects – location near fossil deposits, in areas attractive for tourists or in the vicinity of the largest cities.