In the past, the area was named Podarades after a Byzantine family (Podaras family) which has farms in this place. The modern settlement was built after the Greco-Turkish War (1919-22) and the subsequent population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923.That year refugees, mainly from Pisidia of Asia Minor, settled in the area. The new settlement originally named Nea Pisidia. But later, due to the arrival of many refugees from other places of Ionia, the settlement finally named Nea Ionia. The suburb developed rapidly thanks to carpet handicrafts. The refugees carried their expertise in Athens and opened important carpet handicrafts. This branch was the main economical source for the residents of Nea Ionia for many years. Nea Ionia gradually increases its population and was expanded in a large area. The suburb today comprises the districts Perissos, Kalogreza, Alsoupoli, Pefkakia, Eleftheroupoli, Inepoli, Saframpoli and Neapoli.
Nea Ionia is the seat of the clubs O.F. Nea Ionia (Όμιλος Φιλάθλων Νέας Ιωνίας), club founded in 1926 with achievements in handball and Nea Ionia F.C.. Other notable clubs are Eleftheroupoli F.C. with earlier presence in Beta Ethniki and DIKE.AS. Nea Ionia with current presence in A1 Ethniki handball. In the past there are also the important clubs PAO Saframpolis, PAO Kalogrezas and Ikaroi Neas Ionias which are inactive today.