The article contains a comparative analysis of selected elements of the demographic situation, employment and unemployment in Poland, rural areas included, and in the remaining EU member-states as well as some other European countries. The main object of analysis were the to-date trends (chiefly those prevailing since 1990) and predicted tendencies (until 2030) relating to growth/fall in total population and rural population, the level of natality and mortality, the population's structure according to sex, age and the level of education, the employment rate and frequency of employment in agriculture and of selfemployment, the rate of unemployment and selected features of unemployment. Data available from Eurostat and other international sources as well as from Polish statistical sources served as the basis for comparison. Whenever it was possible the examined phenomena were presented according to the division into urban and rural areas. The conducted comparisons made it possible to determine similarities and differences in the examined processes and structures in Poland and other European countries as well as some factors responsible for these similarities and differences, to determine the role of Poland in the shaping of these phenomena in the European Union and the distance that separates Poland from the more advantageous state existing in the EU.