Adopted in 1954, the name Balga is derived from the Aboriginal word for the indigenous grass tree Xanthorrhoea.
The Balga locality was originally part of a grant given to T. R. C. Walters in 1840 and was used primarily for market gardens and poultry farms, before large-scale development of Balga began in the late 1950s.
In 1950, the State Housing Commission resumed land at Balga to form part of the Mirrabooka satellite city, which was to also include Nollamara, Westminster and the northern portion of Dianella.
Mirrabooka was to become a regional centre containing 16,000 houses, as well as civic and recreational facilities including childcare, schools and public open space, and it was envisaged the Balga population of workers would commute to and from Mirrabooka and the northern industrial areas. Although the Mirrabooka project was never completed, the State Housing Commission gradually developed land at Balga.