History of the town began 650 years ago, though the oldest document thatmentions a settlement named Dambicha dates back to 1293. Not until 1358, king Casimir III the Great issued a foundation charter to Świętosław Gryfita, allowing him to build a town. It begin to flourish thank to the privilege to organize farmer’s markets and fairs, granted in 1446. The town developed slowly but constantly, and more and more new settlers built their houses there. A town square and a town hall, situated near Saint Jadwiga Church were the town’s center. Building of Saint Barbara Church (1651), outside the town, gave birth of the New Dębica. Jewish settlers, who arrived in 1676 – 1690, established their own districts in Old and New Dębica. As times went by, their influence on town’s economy became more significant.
After the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Dębica found itself in Habsburg Empire, New Austrian authorities decided that it should no longer be regarded as a town. This decision marked the decline of
This dramatic situation came to an end in the second half of the 19th century, when a main west-east railroad line, connecting Kraków and Lvov was built (1856). The town became a rail junction and since then industrial development began. In 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War, Dębica was again incorporated as a town.
In 1936-1939, after Polish government had announced creation of Central Industrial Area aimed at fighting unemployment in this part of Poland, Dębica experienced fast development. Among several factories built at that time, the most important were a tire factory, a rubber factory (which produced synthetic rubber, original invention of Polish scientists), a metal rolling mill, and explosive materials factory (in nearby Pustków). In 1937 the county’s capital in Krakowskie Province was moved here.
Just before the Second World War the number of dwellers exceeded 10.000.
After the Second World War Dębica was rebuilt and extended. Until 1975 it was a county’s capitol in Rzeszowskie Province. Administrative reform made Dębica the second most important and most populated town in newly created Tarnowskien Province. Since 1 January 1999 the town has been the seat of Dębica county in the Podkarpackie Province. It is still among the economic and social leaders of the region.
Dębica is an important industrial center of Poland. Companies located here have successfully conquered not only European, but the world markets. The town offers rich technical infrastructure, great living conditions and educational possibilities. Business companies provide consulting, financial, insurance and legal services.
Dębica has been an economic town for over 70 lat, since three major industrial plants were located here. Several thousand highly developed production, service and commercial companies carry out their business activities and hire well trained personnel.
The largest group of Dębica’s citizens are young people, aged 20 to 29. They constitute 19 per cent of the residents. The second biggest group are people aged 40 – 49 (over 15 per cent). 14 per cent of population is 50 – 59 years old, 12 per cent is 30 - 39 years old.