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Royal Lakes, Illinois

Coordinates: 39°6′42″N 89°57′38″W / 39.11167°N 89.96056°W / 39.11167; -89.96056
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Royal Lakes, Illinois
Location in Macoupin County, Illinois
Location in Macoupin County, Illinois
Royal Lakes is located in the United States
Royal Lakes
Royal Lakes
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 39°6′42″N 89°57′38″W / 39.11167°N 89.96056°W / 39.11167; -89.96056
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.51 sq mi (1.33 km2)
 • Land0.47 sq mi (1.21 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)
640 ft (200 m)
 • Total167
 • Density358.37/sq mi (138.49/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code618
FIPS code17-66196

Royal Lakes is a village in Macoupin County, Illinois, United States. The population was 167 at the 2020 census,[2] down from 197 in 2010.


Royal Lakes is located at 39°6′42″N 89°57′38″W / 39.11167°N 89.96056°W / 39.11167; -89.96056 (39.1116990, -89.9606600)[3] in Hillyard Township in southern Macoupin County. Royal Lakes lies at the southwestern corner of two intersecting roads, Illinois Route 16 and Illinois Route 159. The nearest large cities are St. Louis, approximately 45 miles (72 km) to the southwest, and Springfield, around 60 miles (97 km) northeast of the village.

According to the 2010 census, Royal Lakes has a total area of 0.512 square miles (1.33 km2), of which 0.466 square miles (1.21 km2) are land and 0.046 square miles (0.12 km2) (or 8.98%) are water.[1]


Map of the three lakes in Royal Lakes, Illinois
1 – Meshach Lake
2 – Shad Lake
3 – Shadrach Lake

Three small lakes – Meshach, Shad, and Shadrach – are located within the village of Royal Lakes.[4]

  • Meshach Lake is located in the east central portion of Royal Lakes. With an average depth of between 9 and 12 feet (2.7 and 3.7 m), it is the deepest of the three lakes.
  • Shad Lake covers approximately 1.5 acres (6,100 m2) with a maximum depth of 2 feet (0.61 m).
  • Shadrach Lake is located north of Magnolia Drive and west of North Dogwood Drive. Its depth ranges from 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 m).

Shad Lake is an impoundment on Coop Branch, a northwest-flowing tributary of Macoupin Creek, while Meshach and Shadrach Lakes are built on separate tributaries of Coop Branch. The entire community is within the Illinois River watershed.


The site that would eventually become Royal Lakes was purchased by a Chicago developer in 1956.[5][6] The 320-acre (1.3 km2) tract was to be developed as a resort-style community. Three small lakes – Meshach, Shad, and Shadrach – were constructed for recreational purposes and the remaining land was divided into 2,435 lots, each measuring 25 by 125 feet (7.6 by 38.1 m).[7] Royal Lakes was marketed as an affordable resort location in a rural setting. The community was heavily promoted in the predominantly African American neighborhoods of St. Louis and East St. Louis.[7] In 1957, the first families moved into Royal Lakes. A community church was organized in 1961, and the congregation moved into a permanent building seven years later.

Due to Royal Lakes' status as a "resort" area, a lack of zoning regulations meant that there had been no provisions for the developer to provide basic infrastructure. With no road maintenance, water supply, or proper sewage disposal, the overall quality of life for residents of the community deteriorated. By the early 1970s, residents agreed that the only way to improve conditions in the community was through incorporation. An incorporation election was held in October 1972. Of the 98 votes cast, 89 were in favor of incorporation and 9 opposed. Royal Lakes officially became the Village of Royal Lakes.[7][8]

The village's first mayor, Thomas J. Stoddard, and other members of the municipal government took office in April 1973.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

2020 census[edit]

Royal Lakes village, Illinois – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2010[10] Pop 2020[11] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 62 68 31.47% 40.72%
Black or African American alone (NH) 127 85 64.47% 50.90%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 1 3 0.51% 1.80%
Asian alone (NH) 1 0 0.51% 0.00%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 1 10 0.51% 5.99%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 5 1 2.54% 0.60%
Total 197 167 100.00% 100.00%

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 190 people, 80 households, and 46 families residing in the village. The population density was 408.1 inhabitants per square mile (157.6/km2). There were 121 housing units at an average density of 259.9 per square mile (100.3/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 15.79% White, 80.53% African American, 0.53% Native American, 1.05% from other races, and 2.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.05% of the population.

There were 80 households, out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 40.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 22.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 30.5% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 21.6% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 21.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.0 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $17,708, and the median income for a family was $21,042. Males had a median income of $41,667 versus $15,000 for females. The per capita income for the village was $10,049. About 19.1% of families and 27.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.7% of those under the age of eighteen and 27.8% of those 65 or over.


Public education in the village of Royal Lakes is provided by two school districts. The portion of Royal Lakes lying east of Julian Avenue is served by Bunker Hill Community Unit School District 8. Areas west of Julian Avenue are served by Southwestern Community Unit School District 9.


  1. ^ a b "2022 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "P1. Race – Royal Lakes village, Illinois: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Village of Royal Lakes". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  4. ^ "Parks and Recreation". Village of Royal Lakes. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "Royal Lakes Resort". History of Hilyard, Illinois. Village of Royal Lakes. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  6. ^ "Royal Lakes Information". Macoupin County, IL GenWeb. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c "The History of the Village of Royal Lakes". Village of Royal Lakes. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  8. ^ "Illinois Counties & Incorporated Municipalities" (PDF). Illinois Secretary of State. May 2006. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Royal Lakes village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  11. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Royal Lakes village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.