As of the 1999 French census, the population of Balma is 11 994. The name of the town comes from the old Provençal word meaning "cave" or "grotto".
Life known by Balma begins in the Middle Ages. Small belonging fief, at least partly, in the bishopric of Toulouse, it was established in baronnie episcopal in 1279. It is therefore the bishop who is in this epoch lord and baron of Balma.