The community was known as Birmingham and then Trenton Junction before adopting its current name. Today, West Trenton is primarily a residential neighborhood consisting of a mixture of detached, single-family homes and semi-attached, half-duplexes, the majority of which were built from the early 1900s through the 1950s.
It is home to the New Jersey State Police Headquarters, Trenton–Mercer Airport, Trenton Country Club, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, The Homasote Company, The Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf, and the nearby Villa Victoria Academy, a Catholic primary and secondary school for girls. Religious institutions include Our Lady of Good Counsel Church (Roman Catholic), West Trenton Presbyterian Church, and Calvary Chapel of Mercer County (Evangelical). Interstate 95 is just northwest of the community and is linked to it by Bear Tavern Road. West Trenton Train Station is the outermost stop on the SEPTA Regional Rail West Trenton Line.
West Trenton was the site of the General Motors Inland Fisher Guide Plant owned by its Fisher Body division. During World War II, the TBM version of the Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber was produced here for the United States Navy. Women were employed to fly the bombers from the nearby airport to their deployment sites. The facility was demolished and the site is awaiting final environmental remediation and redevelopment.
The Naval Air Warfare Center Trenton was also located in West Trenton from 1953 to 1997.