Big population increase predicted for Forest Lake

Forty-six percent rise possible by 2040


Mary Bailey
Community Editor

The Metropolitan Council estimates that in the next 30 years Forest Lake’s population will increase from 18,377 (2010 Census) to 26,900, a 46 percent increase. The 2000 population was 14,440.

The number of Forest Lake households is expected to grow from 7,015 in 2010 to 12,400 in 2040.

The number of households in Washington County could grow from the current 87,859 (2010) to 133,590 (2040 prediction), a difference of 45,700, or 52 percent.

Hugo will grow even faster, according to the Metropolitan Council forecast, continuing its current trend.

Between 2000 and 2010 Hugo’s population grew from 6,363 to 13,332, an increase of about 110 percent.

By 2040 there could be 23,200 people living in Hugo. This would be a 74 percent increase over 30 years.

Scandia’s population went from 3,692 in 2000 to 3,934 in 2010. The forecast for 2040 is 4,900.

The population of Columbus was 3,957 in 2000 and 3,914 in 2010.

By 2040 the number of Columbus residents could be 4,300, according to the forecast.

(The city of Wyoming is not included in the study because Chisago County is not part of the seven-county metro area covered by the Metropolitan Council.)

The Metropolitan Council study also looked at employment trends.

Both Forest Lake and Hugo are expected to show employment growth of between 1,000 and 5,000 jobs between 2010 and 2040.

  • This comes as a shock in that both in Forest Lake and especially in Wyoming, as ideas tied to future growth, naysayers have said “Ain’t gonna happen” in their lifetime. In Wyoming, we passed on a new city hall, new improved fire hall and new headquarters for the WPD, all for the single, inclusive price of $2.5 million. A pittance of what FL is spending on their new complex. If these cities grow, as projected and additional revenues come pouring in, from a larger tax base, FL, looking back, will look to have done the prudent thing in properly planning ahead.

    As to Wyoming, years ago we merged to promote greater residential growth. If, we too, start to see that happen, the majority here will curse the idea that we missed out on a huge tax savings. That in the idea behind the former, heavily slammed, Wyoming city hall complex deal. It will be interesting to look back, ten years from now, and see who had the right idea.