It is bounded by the suburbs of Prestons, Miller, Ashcroft, Sadlier, and Liverpool. Housing in the area is a combination of houses and flats. Cabramatta Creek forms the northern (Ashcroft/Sadlier) and west boundary (Miller), Maxwells Creek the east boundary (Liverpool), and Hoxton Park Rd the south boundary (Prestons). There is an extensive network of shared pathways interconnecting the many cul-de-sacs present in the area. A bridge also links it to Miller, crossing over Cabramatta Creek. Liverpool City BMX Club also has its grounds in Powell Park. There is also McGirr Park in the north-east.
Cartwright was officially declared a suburb in 1972 and was developed as part of the Green Valley Housing Estate in the 1960s. It was named after Robert Cartwright who was the reverend of St Luke's church in Liverpool and who received a land grant in the local area.
Cartwright Public school was opened in 1967. Macarthur Community College is also located within the schools grounds. There are some mixed businesses nearby.
It is served by bus services T80 (Ash stop, not Cartwright), along the dedicated T-Way bus lane, and Busabout bus routes 851, 853, 854, 855. The nearest rail station is Liverpool, on the South Line. The main arterial road is Hoxton Park Road, leading to the Hume Highway in the east, connecting to Cowpasture Rd in the west.
According to the 2006 census, Cartwright had a population of 2084. There was a significant housing commission population with 290 of the suburb's 914 dwellings belonging to the Department of Housing. The median household income of $509 per week was half that of the nation as a whole and unemployment at 17.6% was more than three times the national average. The majority of residents were Australian born, with minorities born in Vietnam (5.9%), Lebanon (2.8%), New Zealand (2.1%) and Fiji (1.7%).