Microglia play critical roles in neural development, homeostasis and neuroinflammation and are increasingly implicated in age-related neurological dysfunction. Neurodegeneration often occurs in disease-specific spatially-restricted patterns, the origins of which are unknown. We performed the first genome-wide analysis of microglia from discrete brain regions across the adult lifespan of the mouse and reveal that microglia have distinct region-dependent transcriptional identities and age in a regionally variable manner. In the young adult brain, differences in bioenergetic and immunoregulatory pathways were the major sources of heterogeneity and suggested that cerebellar and hippocampal microglia exist in a more immune vigilant state. Immune function correlated with regional transcriptional patterns. Augmentation of the distinct cerebellar immunophenotype and a contrasting loss in distinction of the hippocampal phenotype among forebrain regions were key features during ageing. Microglial diversity may enable regionally localised homeostatic functions but could also underlie region-specific sensitivities to microglial dysregulation and involvement in age-related neurodegeneration.