Population density by 2030 will increase substantially in so-called "commuter cities" along the western edge of Washington County, new maps show.

Woodbury, the county's largest city, already is substantially developed. So are the older cities of Oakdale, St. Paul Park and Forest Lake, which have established neighborhoods.

By 2030, population density will grow in Hugo and Lake Elmo. On the east side of Washington County, only Stillwater and Bayport have concentrated populations. Most of the land area along the St. Croix River will remain lightly populated from Scandia in the north to Denmark Township in the south.

A few years ago, Hugo had the fastest rate of growth in the metro area. Planners have attributed growth in western cities to an influx of job commuters who want ready access to freeways and transit lines.

The county maps were built from Metropolitan Council and U.S. Census data.

To see the maps, go to tinyurl.com/k9vs52p.

kevin giles