The commune has an area of 3.95 km² with 1.1 km² of woods. The woods are remnants of the Bondy forest (Forêt Départementale de Bondy, Parc de la Fosse Maussoin, Parc de la Mairie).
Flint tools from the Neolithic have been found here. Clichy en Aulnois belonged to the lords of Livry in the early Middle Ages. Subject to the Knights Templar in the 13th century, Clichy subsequently passed into possession of the Knights Hospitaller order. Up to the 16th century, it was a hunting resort of the French kings. In the 18th century, it belonged to the Duc d'Orléans. In 1820, the village had about 150 inhabitants.
On May 20, 1869, a part of the territory of Clichy-sous-Bois was detached and merged with a part of the territory of Livry-Gargan and a small part of the territory of Gagny to create the commune of Le Raincy.
In 1870, Clichy was affected by the Franco-Prussian war.
In 1912, a population of 1,434 was counted.
Urbanization of the commune began in 1955.
Clichy-sous-Bois has a high unemployment rate compared to other banlieues. The incidence of violent crime in Seine-Saint-Denis is among the highest in France. The Clichy-sous-Bois synagogue was attacked in October 2001, and again in August 2002 The suburban riots of October 2005 originated in Clichy-sous-Bois and spread to other communes of the département, and then to virtually every major urban area in France.