Poland is a democratic republic composed of 16 provinces located in Central Europe. Poland's economy has stopped falling and rebounded since 1992 and has gradually become one of the fastest-growing countries in Central and Eastern Europe. After joining the European Union, the economy has advanced by leaps and bounds. In 2009, affected by the international financial crisis, the economy declined significantly, but it was still better than most countries in the European Union, and it was the only country in the European Union that achieved positive growth. In 2010, the economy continued to grow, with an increase of 3.8%, ranking among the top of the European Union, attracting 14.2 billion U.S. dollars of foreign capital.