Royal Oak Charter Township is a charter township in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,419. The city of Royal Oak is slightly to the north and is administered autonomously.
The township is the only remaining unincorporated portion of the original 36-square-mile (93.2 km2) Royal Oak survey township, which was organized in 1833. With a present-day area of 0.55 square miles (1.42 km2), Royal Oak Charter Township is the state's smallest charter township by area and the second-smallest overall township in the state after Novi Township. It is also the most-densely populated township in the state.
Royal Oak Township was established in 1833 as a regular, 36-square-mile (93 km2) civil township, and at one time consisted of all or parts of the following modern cities: Hazel Park, Ferndale, Oak Park, Madison Heights, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Berkley, and Clawson. The township began to shrink beginning in 1921 with the incorporation of the cities above. To provide greater protection from easy annexation, the township incorporated as a charter township in 1972. Currently, the township has neither its own police department nor a post office. Its police department was disbanded in 1998. For public safety, the township contracts with the Michigan State Police for police services and the Ferndale Fire Department for fire services. For postal purposes, the community records its location as "Ferndale, MI 48220".
Until 2004, the township consisted of two small non-contiguous parcels of land within Oakland County. The larger portion was along Eight Mile Road, adjacent to Detroit, Oak Park, and Ferndale. A second portion, located northwest of the other portion, adjoining Oak Park and Southfield, was annexed by Oak Park on November 1, 2004.
At the northernmost point of the township lies Radio Plaza, which, bordered by Radio Plaza Street on the west, serves as home to Greater Media, and Salem Media Group's Detroit market headquarters, as well as Motower Multilink Corporation's 993 foot radio tower. WDTK, WLQV, WCSX, WMGC, and WRIF are all based out of Radio Plaza in Royal Oak Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 0.55 square miles (1.42 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,419 people living in the township. The population density was 4,398.1 people per square mile (1,727.8/km2). There were 1,111 housing units at an average density of 2,020.0 per square mile (793.5/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 1.4% White, 95.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.0% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 1,211 households, out of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.1% were married couples living together, 26.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.5% were non-families. 44.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the township the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.2 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $23,710, and the median income for a family was $28,397. Males had a median income of $28,824 versus $26,382 for females. The per capita income for the township was $15,027. About 19.9% of families and 23.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under age 18 and 30.4% of those age 65 and over.
The township is divided between Oak Park School District and Ferndale Public Schools.The Clinton School District previously served Royal Oak Township. The majority black George Washington Carver School District separated from the Clinton district in 1945 as more African-Americans moved to the area. In 1960 Governor of Michigan G. Mennen Williams consolidated the Carver School District, along with its elementary school, into the Oak Park School District because the Carver district no longer had sufficient taxes to pay for a senior high school services, and no area school districts voluntarily took its students for high school.
I-75 runs south–north just to the east of the city boundaries.
I-696 runs east–west and forms the northernmost boundaries of the township with the junction at I-75.
M-1, known locally as Woodward Avenue, runs south–north through the center of the township.
M-108, known locally as East Eight Mile Road, runs east–west as the southern border of the township with the city of Detroit.