Kogarah is named from an Aboriginal word meaning 'a place of rushes'.
Kogarah is located in two sections. The western section of Kogarah is bounded by the railway line in the east, generally by Union Street and Union Lane in the south, and generally by Warialda Street in the west and north-west. The eastern section of Kogarah is bounded by Harrow Road, Schofield Street and generally by Beach Street in the north, West Botany Street, President Avenue and the suburb of Monterey in the east, the suburb of Ramsgate in the south, and Rocky Point Road and the Princes Highway in the west.
Settlement of the area dates from 1808 when the first land grant was made, although growth was slow until the 1840s as there was no access to Cooks River and the area was filled with dense forest. In 1840 a dam was constructed at Cooks River, then a road was built and land was cleared. Settlement increased, with market gardens, orchards and vineyards established. Many Chinese settlers arrived after the gold rushes of the 1850s, with land being used mainly for agricultural purposes. Growth occurred following the opening of the railway in 1884. Significant development took place in the 1920s and 1950s. The population has increased slightly since the mid 1990s, largely a result of new dwellings being added to the area, particularly high density housing.
Kogarah is a mixed use area, with residential, industrial and commercial land use.
Major features of the area include St George Public & Private Hospital, TAFE NSW Sydney Institute (St George College), James Cook Boys High School, Moorefield Girls High School, Civic Avenue Reserve, Frys Reserve, Robertson Reserve, Victory Reserve and Scarborough Park.
St George Hospital School, St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, Moorefield Girls High School, St George School, and James’ Cook Boys High School, Kogarah Town Square, Rockdale Plaza, Woolworths, Aldi & A Huge Array of Shops & Cafés
Part of the suburb of Kogarah is located in Kogarah City.