As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 179,000 and the density of 622 persons per km2. The total area is 287.69 km2.
The city was founded on November 1, 1921.
On November 1, 2004 Ube absorbed the town of Kusunoki, from Asa District.
Its industrial base is in chemicals, concrete and steel. The presence of Ube Industries in the city's economy is significant.
Previously a coal-mining town the city has developed an effective policy to improve its environment. In particular it has combatted the problem of air pollution and its success in doing so saw it being recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was added to the UNEP's Global 500 Roll of Honour in 1997 entry.
The former prime minister of Japan, Naoto Kan was born here.