Brunswick is 4km from Melbourne's CBD, in the local government area of City of Moreland. At the 2006 Census, Brunswick had a population of almost 21,000.
Commercial activity is centred mainly on Sydney Road and Lygon Street in neighbouring Brunswick East. While separated from the tourist strip in Carlton, northern Lygon Street has a substantial number of restaurants and is one of the best known restaurant precincts in Australia. Barkly Square is Brunswick's major covered shopping centre, located on the east side of Sydney Road, close to Jewell Railway Station. There is a wide variety of supermarkets along the Sydney Road strip.
Brunswick is a culturally and linguistically diverse suburb. The top ten languages other than English are (in order): Italian, Greek, Arabic, Chinese languages, Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Spanish, Hindi and Croatian. A growing number of younger people are moving into Brunswick, mainly tertiary students, thanks to relatively affordable rents, close proximity and easy access to the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. There is also a growing population of young professionals and increasing signs of gentrification. These diverse groups live together with little discord. Brunswick is widely regarded as a successful example of multiculturalism.
Brunswick has a large number of social service agencies, including Centrelink, local government services and community-based organisations. Among the most notable are two services for asylum seekers and refugees - the Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre and Foundation House.
The area is among the best-served by public transport in Melbourne, with the Jewell, Brunswick and Anstey stations on the Upfield suburban train line. There is also a tram service to Melbourne University and the city on Sydney Road. Bus services are also available. Brunswick itself is relatively flat and ideal for cycling.
Brunswick has several sporting teams including soccer, cricket, tennis, netball and Australian Rules football. Sporting activities are focused around Clifton and Gilpin Park and the Gillon Oval. Other popular sports in Brunswick include hockey, cycling, and athletics. The council-owned Brunswick City Baths house an indoor and outdoor heated pool, spa and gymnasium.
Brunswick and surrounding suburbs are well serviced by primary and high schools.
Brunswick's diverse religious communities have many places of worship.