Surprise, Arizona

According to growtheology, Surprise, Arizona is a vibrant city located in the northwestern part of Maricopa County, approximately 45 miles northwest of Phoenix. The city was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it after her husband’s reaction to the town’s existence.

The city has grown rapidly over the past few decades and now has a population of over 130,000 people. With its sunny climate, low crime rate and strong economy, Surprise is an attractive place for families to call home. The city offers an array of recreational activities for visitors and residents alike. From outdoor recreation such as hiking and camping in White Tank Mountain Regional Park to shopping at one of the many local malls or outlet stores; from golfing at one of the five championship golf courses to enjoying a night out at one of the many restaurants or bars; Surprise has something for everyone.

According to, Surprise also boasts some impressive educational facilities. The Dysart Unified School District serves most areas within Surprise with high quality education options for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The district includes 8 elementary schools, 4 middle schools and 3 high schools including Valley Vista High School which has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education on several occasions. Additionally, there are several private schools in the area as well as higher education institutions such as Rio Salado College and Western International University that offer degree programs ranging from associate’s degrees to doctorates.

In addition to its educational offerings, Surprise provides plenty of opportunities for entertainment and leisure activities with its numerous parks and recreational areas such as Mark Coronado Park which features walking trails, playgrounds and picnic areas; Surprise Community Park which includes an amphitheater for events; Aquatic Center which offers swimming lessons; Racquetball Center where residents can learn racquetball skills; Water park which features slides, pools and more; Skate Park with skateboarding ramps; Sports Complex with soccer fields, baseball diamonds and more; along with year-round special events like car shows, concerts in the park series and holiday celebrations.

Surprise is also home to some fantastic shopping destinations like Surprise Towne Center Shopping Mall which features major retailers like Macy’s and JCPenney as well as specialty shops like Kay Jewelers or American Eagle Outfitters along with a variety of restaurants ranging from fast food joints to fine dining establishments. Other popular shopping centers include Prasada Marketplace Shopping Center featuring stores like Old Navy or Ross Dress For Less along with several restaurants such as Olive Garden or Red Lobster plus movie theaters showing all your favorite films on multiple screens throughout the day.

Overall, Surprise is an excellent place to live whether you are single or married with kids looking for great job opportunities or just wanting to enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Population: 30,848. Estimated population in July 2020: 74,411 (+141.2% change)
Males: 15,158 (49.1%), Females: 15,690 (50.9%)

Maricopa County

Zip codes: 85374, 85379.

Median resident age: 46.1 years
Median household income: $44,156
Median house value: $128,400

Races in Surprise:

  • White Non-Hispanic (71.8%)
  • Hispanic (23.3%)
  • Other race (7.9%)
  • Black (2.6%)
  • Two or more races (2.0%)
  • American Indian (0.8%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: German (18.0%), English (11.7%), Irish (11.2%), United States (5.7%), Italian (5.4%), Polish (3.3%).

Land area: 69.5 square miles

Surprise, Arizona



For population 25 years and over in Surprise

  • High school or higher: 85.0%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 20.5%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 6.8%
  • Unemployed: 5.7%
  • Mean travel time to work: 30.2 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Surprise city

  • Never married: 13.7%
  • Now married: 72.1%
  • Separated: 1.2%
  • Widowed: 5.9%
  • Divorced: 7.2%

11.2% Foreign born (7.0% Latin America, 2.2% Europe).

Population change in the 1990s: +23,641 (+328.0%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Surprise:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Surprise:

  • LUKE AFB (about 9 miles; GLENDALE, AZ; Abbreviation: LUF)
  • PHOENIX SKY HARBOR INTL (about 32 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Abbreviation: PHX)
  • WILLIAMS GATEWAY (about 58 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Abbreviation: IWA)

Other public-use airports nearest to Surprise:

  • GLENDALE MUNICIPAL (about 13 miles; GLENDALE, AZ; Abbreviation: GEU)
  • PLEASANT VALLEY (about 15 miles; PEORIA, AZ; Abbreviation: P48)
  • PHOENIX GOODYEAR (about 17 miles; GOODYEAR, AZ; Abbreviation: GYR)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Surprise:

  • ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY-WEST (about 16 miles; Glendale, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 3,334)
  • GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 17 miles; GLENDALE, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 9,981)
  • GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY (about 22 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 2,207)
  • UNIVERSAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE INC (about 22 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 2,091)
  • DEVRY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (about 22 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 3,165)
  • PHOENIX COLLEGE (about 24 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 5,911)
  • PARADISE VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 28 miles; PHOENIX, AZ; Full-time enrollment: 3,410)


Public high schools in Surprise:

  • WILLOW CANYON HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 858; Location: 17901 W LUNDBERG ST; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • E-INSTITUTE AT SURPRISE (Students: 15; Location: 15688 W ACOMA; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Surprise:

  • WEST POINT ELEMENTARY (Students: 1,190; Location: 13700 W GREENWAY ROAD; Grades: KG – 08)
  • COUNTRYSIDE ELEMENTARY (Students: 1,152; Location: 15034 N PARKVIEW PL.; Grades: KG – 08)
  • KINGSWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 1,013; Location: 15150 WEST MONDELL ROAD; Grades: PK – 08)
  • ASHTON RANCH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 991; Location: 14898 W. ACOMA DRIVE; Grades: KG – 08)
  • PARADISE EDUCATION CENTER (Students: 899; Location: 15533 W. PARADISE LN.; Grades: KG – 08)
  • CIMARRON SPRINGS ELEMENTARY (Students: 571; Location: 17032 W. SURPRISE FARMS LOOP S; Grades: KG – 08)
  • CARDEN TRADITIONAL SCHOOL OF SURPRISE (Students: 298; Location: 15688 WEST ACOMA ROAD; Grades: KG – 08)
  • ARIZONA CHARTER ACADEMY (Students: 175; Location: 16025 N. DYSART ROAD; Grades: KG – 12)
  • SUPERIOR SCHOOL (Students: 132; Location: 16025 N. DYSART RD. 100; Grades: KG – 12)