The town has a population of 39,444 (As of 2004[update]) and is home to a technical college of Sabha University. Much of the new development in the town is occurring to the north of the old town center, which features gardens and forts from the Italian and Ottoman eras.
The technical college "Faculty of Engineering and Technology", now a college of Sebha University, was previously known as the "Higher Institute of Technology", and it is this college that gives much value to the town, as it is a well-known research and academic organization. The college comprises six distinct departments; three of which are specialized in the engineering arm of the college, namely: Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The other arm, the technical arm, has similarly has three departments: Department of Medical Lab Technology, Department of Food Science Technology, and Department of Environmental Science. Graduates of this college are considered the best in the country, as the academic and technical rank of this college is both prestigious and well-known. There are plans to expand this college more to accommodate more students and staff and to have more departments and specialties.