West Fargo's growth may slow, but it will continue, new study predicts
The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments has estimated West Fargo's population could boom to more than 60,000 by the year 2050.
WEST FARGO — West Fargo is known for its growth, so much so that the city's slogan is even "City on the Grow" . An ongoing study by the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments indicates that growth may possibly be slowing down, but not stopping any time soon.
In fact, once the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion is completed and hundreds of acres of land will no longer be considered in the flood plain, the city of West Fargo could see a boom in development north of Main Avenue that it hasn't seen since the city began growing south of Interstate 94.
So how far has the city come? At a recent meeting of the city's building committee, which is considering if the city should build a new City Hall and/or police headquarters, Assistant City Administrator Dustin Scott said West Fargo's population in 1990 was 12,287 and it grew by 22% to 14,940 by 2000.
The city's most significant growth came between 2000 and 2010 when it grew by 73% and to an estimated 25,830. In the past decade, growth continued to rise by about 49.5% and is now 38,626.
Metro COG's study estimates that growth in West Fargo will likely slow down from its previous lightning-fast rate in the next 20 years. However, the study does expect some population growth.
The organization created most likely and high-growth scenarios to project the populations across the metro area.
In West Fargo, the most likely population is projected to be 41,617 in 2025, 42,512 in 2030, 47,688 in 2035, 52,122 in 2040 and by 2050 to be 62,789.
In a high-growth scenario, Metro COG estimated that the city could grow to about 42,180 in 2025; 56,513 by 2040; and 69,199 by 2050.
"We really need to look at well above 60,000 in 2040 and beyond," Commissioner Brad Olson said during a building committee meeting.
Metro COG has estimated growth will be slower until 2030, when the city's population will range between 42,512 and 43,985. After 2030, it suggests population growth will increase rapidly for the following 20 years and is projected to be between 62,789 and 69,199 by 2050. "Actually these numbers are lower than what was seen before," Scott said.
Scott has used MetroCOG estimates when planning major city projects such as its wastewater treatment plant.
Metro COG's previous demographic forecasts can be found online at fmmetrocog.org/resources/planning/demographic-forecasts.
The draft 2050 Baseline Demographic Forecast is currently available for public review. The last final forecast was done in 2017 and forecasted out to 2045. The latest study can be found at fmmetrocog.org/projects-rfps/metro-cog-baseline-2050-demographic-forecast .