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The radical change in the resident population followed a growing trend motivated by the need to search for a better place to live, a possibility linked to job opportunities. Seasonal jobs and the development of engineering have laid the foundation for being an attractive place.  

Local emigration is the result of displacement flows from North Africa and South America but also from European "history". The fall of the Berlin wall triggered Albanian emigration to Italy, and today the second "foreign resident population" in Umbertide has Albania as its starting country. The enlargement of the EU in 2006-2007 has given way to an increase in "neucomunitari" residents  from Romania, the third place of origin of foreign residents in Umbertide.

The first sudden "detachment" of the resident population  immigrated to Umbertide, already full-bodied because in a ratio of about 1/16 compared to the total resident,  it certainly happened between 2002 and 2006.   

According to the survey " Umbertide Economy and society: the municipality and the territory " of the Umbra Research Agency, it went from 905 foreigners residing in the municipality to 1666.


Based on ISTAT data referring to 31 December 2005, the population from Morocco ​ it reached 501 units (299 males and 202 females). Residents from Albania reached 394 people (210 males and 184 females);  from Algeria 140 (97 males and 43 females); From UK 77 (38  males and 39 females); from Romania 73 (29 males and 44 females); from South America 80 (32 males and 40 females).

The dynamics linked to the enlargement of the European Union have also influenced the radical change in the population of Umbria, especially that relating to 2006-2007 which saw the enlargement extend to Romania and Bulgaria.


The enlargement in 2007 led, in fact, to a notable increase of "neo-community" residents in the demography of the Municipality of Umbertide. Above all, the Romanian population increased exponentially: it went from 48 residents (21 males and 27 females) in December 2004 to 234 residents (108 males and 126 females) and in 2016 there were 459 residents (176 males and 283 females).

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Le linee di indagine

(edited by Francesco Deplanu)

As regards the demography of the territory, we propose a diachronic path,  from the sixteenth century. to date, in search of significant trend lines even if exposed to the diversity of sources and survey times.  We believe, however, that we can identify two "lines" of trend: 

1) the change of an almost millennial form of settlement, from "scattered" to "centralized",

2) the inversion from being a land of emigration, starting in the 1960s, to being a "land of arrival", from the end of the 21st century.


This attempt will not be able to give certain indications. This is because  both for the vastness of the time considered that  due to the lack of cognitive demographic interests in the surveys that reached us from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century, as well as the differences in the forms of  survey: from the castle to the countryside, from the “fires” to the “people.” As regards the sources, after the "Council of Trent" up to the unification of Italy it is above all the Dioceses and parishes that can give us important information. Only with the Kingdom of Italy and the contemporary ISTAT data of the Italian Republic can we get a less uncertain idea of the evolution of demography as a whole.


For centuries the population of Fratta  it remained in an extremely limited number. Piccolpasso in 1565 shows us in fact between 300 and 400 inhabitants. Giorgi's map, from a few decades later, always shows us a small amount of population within the walls, but it gives us a new "datum." That is, most of the population lived around the walls, and it was  distributed in a "sparse" manner. Settlement that was  consequence of an economic system, sharecropping, which will characterize the distribution of the fine population  to the second half of the twentieth century.


We can dare to find a line of union between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, regardless of the increase in the population in approaching us, or in the constant division of the population between "countryside" and "city walls". scattered settlement linked to the exploitation of the territories: the system  sharecropper.  


Since then, but concentrated in the last 70-80 years, we can identify two "revolutions" that have changed  the use of the territory and the Umbertidese demography.


The first great revolution was the crisis and then the end of sharecropping, which led to the abandonment of the countryside and the growth of the urban fabric, as well as the emigration of the population. Emigration lasted until the 1970s; internal and abroad.


The second great revolution depended on another change in the production system: mechanization in the primary and secondary sector, which made the local production system attractive for some areas of the world, from seasonal to metalworking jobs. This second major demographic change transformed us from a land of emigration to a land of immigration.


Let's start with "order": Piccolpasso in  " The plants and portraits of the cities and lands of Umbria under the government of Perugia ", he spoke of 80 fires connected to the castle: " Fratta dei Sigli di Uberto fires about 80. ". Historians in general hazard a number of 4-6 "souls" for "fire", we can consequently think of a population of 320 to 480 people.

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Piccolpasso, "The plants and portraits of the cities and lands of Umbria subject to the government of Perugia" by G. Cecchini, Publisher of the National Institute of Archeology and Art History, Rome 1963.

Image from "Central Institute for the Single Catalog of Italian Libraries and for bibliographic information": ID = 69561

Giorgi's Charter from the mid-16th century it is instead a "thematic map" which had the intent to represent the numerical entity of the "souls" present in the various parishes (two sheets obtained from two copper plates (475 x 680 mm each) of the Diocese of Gubbio. " Diocese of the city of Gubbio, described by the Most Reverend Don Vbaldo Georgii Clerico Evgubino ... " It is the representation of the data that the bishop Mariano Savelli, in 1567, asked to indicate to the parish priests with the number of families belonging to their parish and the distances that separated from the parish church, under the penalty of 50 florins as a fine for “reluctant” parish priests. Perhaps the final figures are at the end of 1570.  


The Charter (98 x 68 cm) is a real demographic census of the Diocese of Gubbio according to what was established in the Council of Trent, 1563, for the reorganization of the parishes. The Charter was created with data regarding the state of souls, with the location of parish churches, parish churches, inhabited areas, villas.


On the map there is a division into squares and rectangles that roughly delimits the parish district, usually with numbers indicating the distance in miles from the parish. In the southern area, where our "Fratta" insists, we see that the percentage of dispersion of the rural population is very high, this suggests to "sharecropping". In contemporary documents there is also talk of "vinea" which indicates the cultivation of the vine practiced on the ground. Surely this spatial distribution of the population, with scattered settlements, speaks to us of a new tranquility of being able to live outside the city walls compared to past centuries and of a productivity of such places. It does not describe the territory, where it is cultivated or wooded, but the distribution of the population.


With some precision, however, it is also possible to obtain the number of inhabitants of the various places, as well as of the entire diocese which had more than 20,000 inhabitants, taking into account that each "house" indicated 5 people. In the quadrant of the parishes around “La Fratta” they are identifiable  42 “houses” outside the walls and 22 inside. 

Within the walls of ancient Fratta, with the parish of San Giovanni in good evidence, considering this "rule" to be true, there are 22 "houses", or about 110 people. walls in the countryside.

Since the houses in the quadrant are 42. For the same counting system there are 210 people outside the walls, about 320 people in the parishes of Fratta. Very similar to that of Piccolpasso.

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"Diocese of the city of Gubbio, described by the Most Reverend Don Vbaldo Georgii Clerico Evgubino ..."

Image from  "Lithographic copy of Giorgi's map published in 1574"  by the Flag-waving Group of Gubbio with the contribution of Enrico Passeri Financial Advisor of the Azimut Group ", 2005

Until the Kingdom of Italy we have no univocal and easy to interpret data while the contemporary age, with its large population movements from the countryside to the city in the post-war period and the immigration flows of the last decades, can be investigated in more detail. These will be the events on which we will focus in order to better understand in which direction the identity of our country can go. For this at the end of the page you will find the references to the subsections of "arrivals", with the first stories  of the people who arrived with the immigration phenomenon and of the  "departures", with the first stories of our emigrants especially in the period 1950-70.

However, we know, for example, that in the register of souls of the Diocese of Gubbio of July 1808 it appears that in the "Fratta" there were 346 inhabitants in the parishes of San Giovanni Battista and of Santa Croce (with Sant'Erasmo) 1051 inhabitants, both urban and rural, there were therefore 1397 souls in total. The source is a post by the local historian Cece di Gubbio .  However, it is impossible to compare these data with those of about 50 years later, with the Kingdom of Italy, which present more than 10,000 inhabitants in the municipality of Umbertide. This is because the Diocese does not correspond to the whole territory of the "Comunità di Fratta" Institution (denomination of 1808) and there should be other parishes under the Dioceses of Città di Castello or Perugia, with the relative documents.

Other information on the settlement of Umbertide in the nineteenth century comes to us from Renato Codovini thanks to the reworking made by Fabio Mariotti in our section on " Fratta-Umbertide  800 ". During the Napoleonic rule, in 1812 the" Maire "Magnanini communicated as a population of the Community of  thicket  "about 1,000 inhabitants", to specify after a few days a smaller number, 790 inhabitants. The first more precise indications in the following decade  they do not come from a secular source, but from a religious one. Codiovini informs us: " In 1833 we have a first" state of souls ", a statistical survey wanted by the bishop, made by the parish priests house by house and therefore quite reliable. From this we learn that the inhabitants of the town are 825 gathered in 205 families, with an average of 4 people per family. Of these, 140 belong to the parish of S. Erasmo and S. Croce united and 65 families to that of S. Giovanni Battista. ". The fluctuations of the population, however limited, may depend on which parishes or settlements  are counted.

Certainly the population was not only minor, but was still mainly present in the rural settlements and in the smaller villages of the surrounding area.

The evolution of the population from the Kingdom of Italy to today

However aggregate, why  total, these are the general data of the Umbertidese population from the unification of Italy to today. They serve as a basis for reflecting on the population movement of the last 150 years, even if they do not give us the measure of the significant movement of inhabitants from the countryside to the city.

Year          Residents

1861          10.184

1871          11.174

1881          11,537

1901          13.007

1911          13,248

1921          14,588

1931          15,647

1936          15.146

1951          16,077

1961          14,497

1971          13,498

1981          14,183

1991          14,379

2001          15,254

2016          16.607

According to prof. Bruno Porrozzi who dealt with it in his book  " Umbertide and its Territory. History and images. " In the 1950s our town began to develop towards the south-east of the still well-defined central nucleus near the "Fratta" as the city center is still called by older people . The majority of the population was still in the countryside but would later move to the urban area. In the countryside characterized by polyculture "p greasedfrom farmhouses, farms and modest hamlets, it was inhabited essentially by families of sharecroppers and other nuclei, linked to some extent with agriculture (blacksmiths, farriers, carpenters, masons, small traders, brokers, etc.); everyone worked to provide the citizens with supplies . "With the birth of an artisanal and industrial development in the 1960s, together with the change in the rules on sharecropping in 1964, the population shifted towards the center.

At the beginning of the 1980s, prof. Porrozzi " In the Municipality of Umbertide, sixty-one sharecroppers with one hundred and fifty-nine units currently operate in agriculture, thirty companies with one hundred and twelve permanent employees, fifty-six companies with temporary workers, three hundred and seventy-nine companies directly managed with seven hundred and sixty units. Five cooperatives have been set up (CAU , Molino Popolare Altotiberino, Fratelli Cervi, CIZAUP, Alto Tevere Tobacco Producers), which employ a few dozen permanent workers. ". In this modernized context, the population had chosen to move towards the city center.   


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agricoltura ed industria Umbertide 1951-

The synthesis  more significant than the changes, however, is not only the doubling  over twenty years of downtown population from  4780 a  8629 people, out of about 15,000 inhabitants of the  Common, but they are  data concerning the work sector from the primary sector compared to the secondary sector .

Within 30 years, this relationship is reversed  completely; these are the numbers: we passed by  4957 agricultural workers in 1961  just  1359 in '71, and even a  1104 workers in 1981. While in the face of  1363 workers in industry in  1961,  you grow up to  1960 employees in '71 and  2249 in 1981;  with a clear shift of workers in the service sector not taken into consideration by the data of prof. Bruno Porrozzi, in “ Umbertide and his Territory. History and images ".  


To understand which sector of the primary sector was affected, let's insert a new graph between sharecroppers and direct farmers even if with only the data of 1970 and 1982: in 1970  there were 1340 sharecroppers and in 1982  alone  159,  in 1970 they were counted  918 direct farmers which will be reduced slightly in 1982 or a  760 direct workers.

In short, it was the sharecropping that died.

The resident population of Umbertide which had reached 16,077  units in 1951, began to abruptly decline. In 1971 only 13,498 residents were registered ("Umbertide  economy and society: the Municipality and the territory ",  p. 22. AUR data processing on ISTAT data).

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The need for emigration from 1950 to 1970

If you also consider  Giovanni's studio  De Santis " Anthropo-geographical features of the << Alta Valle del Tevere >> area" in  " The upper Tiber Valley ", extracted from " Umbria Economica" , year III, n. 4 - 1982  printed thanks to the then "Banca Popolare di Spoleto",  we can see how from 1951 to 1971 the population of the Municipality of  Umbertide decreased by 14.4 percent, from 16,077 to 13,498  a significant migratory flow towards foreign destinations and the Roman area generated by the inability of the production system to "maintain" the population. It influenced greatly  in the precarious agricultural production system, innervated for some time  from the cultivation of tobacco, the "peronospera tabacina", second  Paola Laura Ciabucchi " Shadows and lights of industrial development in the Upper Tiber Valley " which reduced the cultivated area in the Upper Tiber Valley by 50% and reduced the number of employees from 1664 to 217. From that moment there was a need to grow industrial areas in our areas, allowing the current industrial development.


Industrial development, which together with seasonal agricultural work and the normal tendency of emigrants to move to where they exist  emigrated nuclei of the same areas has favored an inversion of trend in the population leading to the current situation of more than 16,000 inhabitants, substantially identical to 1951. In particular, the evolution of the engineering system, born connected to agricultural production already before the war, saw the birth of several companies and in 1963 the birth of Metalmeccanica Tiberina.

The agricultural production system first, with seasonal jobs also linked to the cultivation of tobacco, and today the engineering and "automotive" sector, which grew alongside several large companies in the area, have acted as a catalyst for many people  coming both from abroad and from other Italian regions.  

Current Population Growth: Immigration

In fact, in recent decades, in  this Umbertidese population has increased the number of "foreign" families; the definition that follows is that of the ISTAT legislation which identifies foreign residents without "citizenship": this research  it does not identify the situation of naturalized immigrants, a recent phenomenon. In about 15 years it has rapidly gone from less than a thousand resident foreigners to more than 2700 according to the latest Census which was also distributed with a division by nationality of arrival. For 2020 we only have the aggregate data of 2611 people residing in Umbertide with non-Italian citizenship:

Foreign resident population on 1st January  2002- Total 905

Foreign resident population as of January 1 - 2016 -Total  2703

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Also from the same Istat source of the 2016 census it is possible to know which are the different nationalities  of origin of resident foreign citizens:  four, Moroccan, Albanian, Romanian and Algerian are over 100 units. In short, a substantial part of the resident population in Umbertide is the bearer of  varied histories and cultures. The awareness of how the past has structured the traditions in addition to the rural and urban territory in which they live today should be everyone's heritage, especially from the second generations who, in addition to bringing their own cultural and experience baggage, will have to  feel  part of the social fabric  general as completely as possible.

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If it is possible to trace a synthesis of these last 40-50 years, it can be seen that in the last decade of the last century, 1980-2000, a stable community residing in Umbertide has materialized, in order of magnitude, Moroccan, Albanian,  Algerian and the United Kingdom.

In the following twenty years the  Moroccan and Albanian communities  have grown, while the Algerian ones have remained stable  and the United Kingdom;  the Romanian community, on the other hand, ranks third in terms of total attendance.


As for the flows of the largest community, that of Morocco, emigration to Italy, rather than to France as had traditionally occurred previously, developed after the oil crisis of the 1970s. On the basis of the general indications that should be compared with those of Umbria, there are two main regions from which to leave for Italy:   Chaouia and  Tadla,  located in the central area of Morocco, two of the 16 regions then abolished in 2005.

The Moroccan community in our territory has grown steadily, in 2005 there are 501 residents, in 2016 the residents are registered 757 people.


Different speech, as written above, for the Algerian community which appears to have decreased since 2005, where there were 126 residents, while to date  are indicated in number of  140.


Stable in absolute numbers, but relegated by one "place", it now ranks fifth among the nationalities of foreign residents, it is Great Britain, with 77  people in 2005 and 78 residents in 2016.



After the data and numbers of the demographic change we can continue in the "memory", with the singles  screw e  stories of the old and new people from Umberto I. By clicking on the "hot words" highlighted in yellow the first stories of who left and who arrived . 


- Bruno Porrozzi, Umbertide and his Territory. History and images. Ass. Pro Loco Umbertide, publishing Cartolibreria 10+ 10 of Venti Maurizio, Umbertide

-  Simona Bellucci, Umbertide in the 20th century: 1943-2000, Nuova Prhomos Editions, 2018.

-  Paola Laura Ciabucchi " Shadows and lights of industrial development in the Upper Tiber Valley " in " The Upper Tiber Valley ", extracted from "Umbria Economica, year III, n.4 - 1982  print of the  "Banca Popolare di Spoleto" (p. 87 -89)

-  John  De Santis " Anthropo-geographical features of the << Alta Valle del Tevere >> area"  in " The upper Tiber Valley ", extracted from "Umbria Economica, year III, n.4 - 1982  print of the  "Banca Popolare di Spoleto" (p. 55)

- AA. VV.,  Umbertide Economy and society: the municipality and the territory ” of the Umbra Research Agency (AUR), 2008.

- “Lithographic copy of Giorgi's map published in 1574”, by the Flag-waving Group of Gubbio with the contribution of Enrico Passeri Financial Advisor of the Azimut Group ”, 2005.


- Maria Oda Graziani, "The Georgi card", Municipality of Gubbio and Ass. Sbandieratori Gubbio with the contribution of Enrico Passeri Financial Advisor of the Azimut Group,  Graphic Art Gubbio, 2005




- " THE MOROCCAN MIGRANT AS DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION AGENT IN THE COMMUNITIES OF ORIGIN ",  European Commission - Directorate-General for Justice and Home Affairs,  Exodus edizioni srl, Milan 2002 (pp. 96 and following can be downloaded at the link:

-  h ttp: //



Help us remember


Marc Bloch: «The good historian resembles the ogre in the fairy tale: where he smells human flesh, there he knows that he is his prey.  "  


I "numeri" del Piccolpasso
Il Giorgi ed il popolamento sparso
I "dati" della Diocesi nel 1808
I censimenti del Regno d'Italia
Lo spostamento verso la città
L'esubero dei lavoratori e la "morte" della mezzadria
L'immigrazione neocomunitaria
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