Balbins is located some 40 km north-west of Grenoble just west of La Côte-Saint-André. Access to the commune is by the D73 from La Côte-Saint-André which passes through the commune just south of the village and continues west to Penol. The D518A passes through the east of the commune linking the D71 south of La Côte-Saint-André to the D518 north-west of La Côte-Saint-André. The commune is almost entirely farmland with urban area of the village merging with that of Ornacieux.
In 2010 the commune had 386 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
^At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.