The area was conquered by the Mongols and became part of Mongol Yuan Dynasty imperial China in the 1200s, the area came under Russian rule after the 1858 treaty of Aigun. The village of Permskoye (Пе́рмское) was established in 1860 by migrant peasants from Perm Governorate. In 1932, during the industrialization, heavy industry factories were built here, and the village was granted town status, and, as it was ultimately built as an industrial center by the Communist youth organisation Komsomol, renamed Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
During the 20th century, the city developed into a regional centre for industries such as metallurgy, machinery, oil refining, and shipbuilding. The aircraft construction company Sukhoi has significant works based in the city. It hosts Khurba air base south of the city and Dzemgi air base to the north. The city is served by Komsomolsk-on-Amur Airport