About 85 million people live in the Baltic drainage basin, 15 within 10 km of the coast and 29 within 50 km of the coast. Around 22 million live in cities, defined as centers of over 250,000. 90% of these are concentrated in the 10 km band around the coast. Of the nations containing all or part of the basin, Poland includes 45% of the 85 million, Russia 12%, Sweden 10% and the others (see below) less than 6% each. The Baltic is virtually an inland sea. Its northernmost parts freeze over every winter. In a hard winter, the whole sea may freeze over. Even if the forecast global warming changes the situation, any change will come only slowly.  

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