The village was incorporated on December 15, 1906, and certified by the state on April 13, 1907. The area was first explored during the 17th century by the French. In the late 19th century, it was known as Nippersink Point. Early in the 20th century, there were but a few hundred residents. During the summer season, however, the population would reach an estimated 20,000 people, and at its peak, the area had 50 hotels and 2,000 cottages. Infamous ChicagogangsterAl Capone allegedly utilized an establishment now known as the Mineola Hotel and Restaurant as a hideout. In 1979, the Mineola was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and may be the largest wooden frame structure in the state.
Many Chicagoans have established summer homes in Fox Lake. The village is situated among the Chain O'Lakes, where swimming, boating, jet skiing, tubing and boarding are popular activities. In 2006, there were an estimated 28,000 boats registered on the lake system.
In September 2015, Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was found shot to death, and the subsequent manhunt for the shooters impacted the entire community. After a two-month investigation, authorities released information to the effect that Gliniewicz committed "a carefully staged suicide", and that he had been involved in financial malfeasance related to his job.
"Fox Lake incorporated under a Village form of government, with an elected village president, six trustees, and a village clerk. The village president is also recognized as the mayor." The table below is a list of mayors from the village's inception in 1907 to present.
According to the 2010 census, Fox Lake has a total area of 9.942 square miles (25.75 km2), of which 8.12 square miles (21.03 km2) (or 81.67%) is land and 1.822 square miles (4.72 km2) (or 18.33%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,178 people, 4,046 households, and 2,330 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,249.1 people per square mile (482.1/km2). There were 4,652 housing units at an average density of 633.1 per square mile (244.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.49% White, 0.76% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.54% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.80% of the population.
There were 4,046 households out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the village, the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.
The median income for a household in the village is $46,548, and the median income for a family is $58,843. Males have a median income of $42,009 versus $29,063 for females. The per capita income for the village is $24,350. 6.4% of the population and 4.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 7.2% of those under the age of 18 and 9.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.