Kiryat Gat was founded in 1954 as a ma'abara (transit camp) and became a city in 1972. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2009 Kiryat Gat had a population of 47,400 residents. Immigrants from some 35 countries have settled in the city over the years. Kiryat Gat is home to many state of the art companies and factories including Intel Electronics, Sugat, Tzabar, Shiryonit Chosen (security doors) and more.
In 2009 during Operation Cast Lead, Kiryat Gat suffered through Grad missiles fired from the Gaza Strip.
Kiryat Gat is one of the development towns built during the1950's. Its economic situation and diverse social makeup require investment of major resources to meet the needs of the weaker sectors of the population, at risk youth, new immigrants, the elderly, etc.