Samuel Grimes and brother George Grimes immigrated to Queensland on the Chaseley in 1849, one of the ships chartered by Dr John Dunmore Lang. In 1857 they established an arrowroot farm called Fairfield in the area, providing the name for the suburb.
In 1914 the Railside Estate was a subdivision of 28 residential lots for the land bounded by Bell Lane (now Bledisloe Street) to the north, the South Coast railway line to the east, Venner Road to the south, and Cross Street to the west. The estate was described as "within a stones throw from the Fairfield railway station".
The Fairfield Library opened in 1988 with a major refurbishment in 2011.
There is a Fairfield train station on the line to Beenleigh. The main bus service is the 196, which runs every 15 minutes during the day and commences at Fairfield Gardens. During the morning peak the 107 and 108 bus services are also available. There is also a taxi rank.
There are no schools in Fairfield. The nearest government primary schools are in the neighbouring suburbs of Dutton Park, Annerley (Junction Park State School) and Yeronga (Yeronga State School). The nearest government secondary school is in Yeronga.
A new government secondary school, , is expected to open in neighbouring Dutton Park in 2021.
Fairfield has a Skate Park that caters for young people in the suburb.
Fairfield has its own shopping centre, Fairfield Gardens, at 180 Fairfield Road. The main shop in the centre is a Coles supermarket. It also has a Terry White Chemist, Australia Post, BWS, Dollars and Cents, and a Doctors surgery. The Brisbane City Council operates a public library at Fairfield Gardens.
The suburb borders the Brisbane River and has many parks.
In the 2011 census, Fairfield recorded a population of 2,554 people, 50.2% female and 49.8% male.
The median age of the Fairfield population was 31 years of age, 6 years below the Australian median.
69.2% of people living in Fairfield were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 69.8%; the next most common countries of birth were England 3.2%, New Zealand 3.1%, Malaysia 1.5%, China 1.2%, Vietnam 1.2%.
77.3% of people spoke only English at home; the next most popular languages were 2.4% Mandarin, 2% Greek, 1.7% Vietnamese, 1.7% Spanish, 0.9% German.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Fairfield (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Tennyson Ward". Brisbane City Council. Brisbane City Council. Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Fairfield - suburb in City of Brisbane (entry 50284)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
- "Railside Estate". State Library of Queensland. 1914. hdl:10462/deriv/18564. Cite journal requires
- "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. p. 11. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Moore, Tony (1 April 2019). "First look at Brisbane's new inner-city high school at Dutton Park". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
- "Library opening hours and locations". Brisbane City Council. 3 January 2018. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Fairfield
- Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society
- Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery