The land on which the suburb now stands was purchased in 1853 by Alfred Watts and Philip Levi. They laid out the Village of Croydon in 1855, comprising Croydon Farm of 40 acres (16 ha) and lots of up to 5 acres (2.0 ha). The village may have been named for Croydon, England, then a part of Surrey, the same county in which Levi had been born.
Croydon lies on the western side of South Road, in the section between Port Road and Torrens Road. It is a small inner western suburb of Adelaide.
The 2006 Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics counted 1,350 persons in Croydon on census night. Of these, 50.1% were male and 49.9% were female.
The majority of residents (66.6%) are of Australian birth, with other common census responses being Italy (7.4%), Greece (5.9%) and England (2.2%).
The age distribution of Croydon residents is similar to that of the greater Australian population. 69.5% of residents were over 25 years in 2006, compared to the Australian average of 66.5%; and 30.5% were younger than 25 years, compared to the Australian average of 33.5%.
Croydon is part of Hindmarsh Ward in the City of Charles Sturt local government area, being represented in that council by Paul Alexandrides and Craig Auricht.
Croydon lies in the state electoral district of Croydon and the federal electoral division of Port Adelaide. The suburb is represented in the South Australian House of Assembly by Michael Atkinson and federally by Mark Butler.
On Elizabeth Street, there are cafes (Croydon Social, Queen Street Cafe,), a bakery (Red Door Bakery), hairdresser (Curious Orange) and retro clothing & homewares (Hype & Seek) furniture shops (One Small Room) clothing boutique ( Azalia). Croydon Social also opens in the evening serving pizza from its wood oven and is licensed. This section of Elizabeth Street is commonly referred to as Queen Street, and some of the names of the shops refer to Queen Street. On Queen Street proper (which runs off Port Road until becoming Elizabeth Street) there is also a hairdresser, a pilates studio and a children's party venue. On Port Road is a warehouse shopping complex with large parking space including Officeworks, Rivers, The Salvation Army Superstore and other retailers.
A park is located on Day Terrace beside Croydon railway station.
Croydon is bordered by three major Adelaide roads. Torrens Road to its north-east, South Road, to its east-south-east, Port Road to its south-west and Ellen/Minnie Streets to its north-west.
Croydon is serviced by public transport run by the Adelaide Metro.
The Grange and Outer Harbor train services pass through the suburb. The closest station is Croydon.
The suburb is serviced by buses run by the Adelaide Metro.