Sparta, Illinois

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Country United States
State Illinois
County Randolph
Coordinates 38°8′N 89°42′W / 38.133°N 89.700°W / 38.133; -89.700Coordinates: 38°8′N 89°42′W / 38.133°N 89.700°W / 38.133; -89.700
Area 11.45 sq mi (30 km2)
 - land 11.17 sq mi (29 km2)
 - water 0.27 sq mi (1 km2)
Population 4,302 (2010)
Density 376 / sq mi (145 / km2)
Date 1829
Government Mayor-council
Mayor Charles Kelley
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 62286
Area code 618
Location of Sparta within Illinois
Location of Sparta within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Sparta, Illinois
Pyrite discs in coal, from an old Sparta mine. Harvard Museum of Natural History

Sparta is a city in Randolph County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,302 at the 2010 census.[1]

The city was the principal filming location for the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night.[2]


Sparta is located at 38°8′N 89°42′W / 38.133°N 89.700°W / 38.133; -89.700 (38.1282, -89.7061).[3]

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 11.45 square miles (29.7 km2), of which 11.17 square miles (28.9 km2) (or 97.55%) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2) (or 2.36%) is water.[4]

Printing industry[edit]

After World War II, Sparta became known as "Magazineland, U.S.A." due to the presence of numerous printing plants that produced most of the mass-market color comic books in the United States. Spartan Printing employed as many as 1,000 people at its peak. Later, major comics distributors situated their warehouses in and around Sparta.[5]

World Shooting and Recreational Complex[edit]

In 2005, the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) voted to move its headquarters from Vandalia, Ohio, to Sparta. The city and state governments had lobbied hard for the move to Sparta, which was necessitated by the expansion of the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia.

In 2006, then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and local dignitaries opened the World Shooting and Recreational Complex north of Sparta. The ATA hosted its first Grand American at the facility in August, with several thousand shooters attending.

In 2012 the ATA moved their national headquarters to 1105 East Broadway, Sparta Illinois. All day-to-day operations for the Association are now handled at this location.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 4,486 people, 1,783 households, and 1,164 families residing in the city. The population density was 496.6 people per square mile (191.8/km²). There were 2,014 housing units at an average density of 223.0 per square mile (86.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.39% White, 15.65% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.36% of the population.

There were 1,783 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 83.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,139, and the median income for a family was $41,908. Males had a median income of $30,386 versus $19,819 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,343. About 10.9% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Sparta city, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1961-1970, Part 2. American Film Institute. 1997. p. 530. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]