Burpengary, a rural village until the 1970s, became an urban area with a three-fold population increase to nearly 18,000 during 1996-2001. It is situated on the Burpengary Creek and the Bruce Highway, and about 6 km from the Deception Bay coastline. It is 37 km north of central Brisbane and immediately south of Morayfield (Caboolture district). It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal expression referring to green wattle.
When exploited by European settlers in the 1870s, the first industry was timber cutting. The creek was used to float or raft logs to Deception Bay. Sugar cane was grown along the creek and a processing mill was opened, but increasing frosts saw sugar replaced by dairying. The railway line through Burpengary to Caboolture was opened in 1888, and there were dairy factories at Caboolture and Woodford which were the only two sizeable towns in Caboolture shire. Burpengary remained a rural village until the mid-twentieth century, but its position on a railway line and the highway made it a suitable dormitory suburb for commuters by the 1970s. It has large State (1876) and Catholic schools, the latter projected to be P-12 by 2012.
There are adjoining out-of-town drive-in shopping centres in Station Road, near the Bruce Highway. Burpengary Plaza (1995) is the larger, with a supermarket and 26 shops. Between the shopping centres and the railway there are generous linear parks with several sports fields. To the east, across the Bruce Highway, Burpengary is less intensively subdivided, but there are an industrial estate, along with two large relocatable-home parks. In the north, towards Morayfield, there is Burpengary Village shopping centre (1995).
West of the railway line, which is mostly rural-residential, there is the Burpengary Meadows State primary school (2007) and the Caboolture environmental education centre.
In 2013 the State government announced the building of a new high school at Burpengary as part of 10 new schools to be built in high-growth areas under a private-public partnership model, with the private companies responsible for maintaining the school for up to 30 years.
Burpengary's census populations have been: