The area is situated across the boundaries of three boroughs: Barnet, Enfield and Haringey. It is close to Southgate and much of it was once in the old borough of Southgate.
The postcode area N11 - which includes parts of Arnos Grove, Bounds Green and Friern Barnet, as well as New Southgate - is often still referred to simply as New Southgate, as in the original alphabetical listing of North London postal areas.
Much of New Southgate was once the hamlet of Betstile, a name that was resurrected in the early 20th century with Betstyle Road and later Betstyle Circus. The more southerly part of the area was known as Colney Hatch Park, but the name Colney Hatch was removed from the borough of Southgate as local residents began objecting to being associated with the famous Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, which lay just inside the neighbouring parish of Friern Barnet, so the name New Southgate was adopted.