The period between 1991 and today has been the most successful in Poland's history. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Poland's status as an independent nation-state has been cemented, and its economy has soared. It has even become a politically influential player in European politics, butting heads with Germany over who gets to make the rules in Brussels and emerging as the de facto leader of an anti-Russia Eastern European bloc. But like all European countries, Poland's shrinking population poses a major challenge to its long run of prosperity. For decades now, the country has seen falling fertility rates and unsustainable emigration levels. How Poland responds to this challenge will go a long way in determining the future economic well-being and security of Poland as an independent state.