Rieti was the province capital of the Papal States from 1816 to 1860. After the unification of Italy, it was initially part of Umbria, being annexed to Lazio in 1923. It became the provincial capital in 1927.
Rieti is connected to the main surrounding cities by Highway A1, Route Salaria SS4 (Rome, L'Aquila, Ascoli Piceno, Pescara), Route Ternana SS 79, as well as railway to Terni and L'Aquila. Besides, Rieti has a local airport.
The population size is 47 698 inhabitants, with an ethnic configuration. Key economic sectors in the employment are agriculture, commerce, industry and tourism. The unemployment rate was 12,3% in 2014.
Rieti is confronting with the following social challenges:
- General impoverishment of the population with increasing inability of families to meet their primary needs;
- Percentage of families below the poverty line recorded a rate of 9.3%, higher than other provinces in Lazio have;
- Aging of population with increasing health and social needs and increasing demand for specialists and facilities
- Lack of facilities and services that support the family during the recovery period after hospitalisation and children-in-need;
- Difficulties in integrating services, projects and social benefits both at managerial and professional level because of the fragmentation of interventions
The economic challenges of the city are:
- High youth unemployment rate due to the lack of availability of work and difficulties of reintegration into the labour market;
- Functional depletion of monumental historical buildings, previously occupied by important local and national institutions or by commercial activities and craft workshops;
- Crisis of companies situated in the Industrial Core of Rieti;
- Decreased distribution of financial resources from the state and the region to the municipalities;
- Difficulty to establish networks between organizations belonging to different sectors;
Regarding the environmental problems, the remediation of brownfields located near the centre of the city can be mentioned.