Carlton is a suburban area located a mere two kilometres from the city centre of Melbourne. Although it is uncertain where the name is derived form, it is thought that Carlton was taken from the eponymous Carlton House that is located in London. One of the most interesting features of Carlton that attracts locals as well as tourists is that it is the one area in Melbourne that contains a "Little Italy" district. It is also well known for possessing some of the most striking examples of Victorian architecture in all of Australia as well as for the large and open-air Carlton Gardens. Finally, the Royal Exhibition Building is one of the few World Heritage Sites that is located within the country.
The population of just over thirteen thousand inhabitants can trace their history back to the Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850's. After a post office was opened in 1865, this suburb continued to grow alongside the city of Melbourne itself. The population is seen to be increasing, however limited additional housing space will somewhat limit this expansion into the future.
Carlton is considered to be a medium- to high-density housing community. Many Victorian homes are still in use while student housing facilities and newer apartment complexes are interspersed throughout the area. In fact, apartments comprise more than three-quarters of the housing in Carlton; many of these being low-income properties for students or those affected by the recent financial crisis.
The majority of the housing in Carlton is rented and less than twenty per cent of these properties represent detached houses. Thus, it can be viewed that Carlton is one of the most densely populated suburbs in all of Melbourne. Still, there are many terraced homes that reflect Victorian lifestyles and these are highly popular as real estate investment opportunities or to be used for Carlton's gentrification projects.