Coolaroo is a residential and industrial suburb 18 km north of central Melbourne, west of the Ford motor car factory, Hume Highway, and between Broadmeadows and Somerton. The name is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word for brown snake.

Coolaroo was part of a large area acquired by the Housing Commission in 1951 for a housing estate. Construction in the Coolaroo area began in 1966 and the first primary school was opened the next year. A later State primary school has become St Marys Coptic Orthodox College. Courage Breweries Ltd opened a brewery in 1968. It later became a Tooth Brewery and then a factory for Australian Consolidated Hosiery. Larger factories to the north include Visy Industries and Greer Industries. (Greer, woven wire etc maker, was established in Melbourne in 1849 and transferred from Cremorne, Richmond, to Coolaroo in 1979.)

When Coolaroo was first laid out it extended westwards to include the area now named Meadow Heights. Its western boundary is now Pascoe Vale Road. Coolaroo has a large reserve with a community hall and ovals. Shopping is found in neighbouring Dallas, the Meadow Heights shopping centre or the Broadmeadows sub-regional shopping centre. There is a Woolworths/Masters hardware store and the Roxburgh Park hotel near Coolaroo's northern boundary and the Coolaroo hotel/motel in Barry Road on its southern border. Although skirted on its east and west by railway lines, Coolaroo awaited the construction of its station on the western line until 2010. Clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands cut 300 jobs from their Coolaroo hosiery factory in 2009.

Coolaroo's census populations have been:

census date population
2001 3228
2006 3094
2011 3261

At the 2011 census the median income of residents was 57% of the Australian median.