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Overview

Introduction to Surprise, Arizona

Surprise, Arizona is 6 miles NW of Peoria, Arizona and 19 miles NW of Phoenix, Arizona. It is in Maricopa county. The city is part of the Phoenix - Mesa metropolitan area.

Surprise History

Real estate developer and state legislator Homer C. Ludden founded the city of Surprise in 1938. The community was named after his hometown of Surprise, Nebraska. Initially, there were only a few houses and a gas station in the area. However, Surprise experienced dramatic growth over the following years and was officially incorporated as a city in 1960. Sun City Grand, an age-restricted resort-like community, was built in the city by the Del Webb property development firm. In the 1990s and early 2000s, many retirees moved to the city to live in this community.

Surprise and nearby Attractions

  • Bead Museum
  • West Valley Art Museum
  • Lake Pleasant
  • Cerreta Candy Factory
  • White Tank Regional Park

Things To Do In Surprise

The Bead Museum showcases many exhibits about the global history of beads, some of which are over 30,000 years old. The West Valley Art Museum also provides valuable information about the local history and culture of the area. While in Surprise, one can also pay a visit to the Bard Ranch, Calderwood Station, Waddell Substation and the Surprise Town Hall. The Centennial Friendship Park and Surprise Park provide a host of recreational facilities for both residents and visitors.

Surprise Transportation

Luke AFB Airport provides facilities for air transportation.

Surprise Higher Education

Opportunities for higher education are provided by Phoenix College, Paradise Valley Community College, Gateway Community College and Glendale Community College.

People

Total Population 123,813
Male Share of the Population 47.9%
Female Share of the Population 52.1%
Senior Citizens 21%
Employed Population 16+ 47,929
Age of the Population 39

Families

% of people married 59.3%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 27.5%
Median Earnings25+ $39,462
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $22,331
Median Earnings With High School Degree $31,570

Wealth

Median Family Income $66,386
% Above Poverty Level 90.2%
% Below Poverty Level 9.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 31 minutes
% Working from Home 6.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.3%
% Using Public Transportation 0.2%

Housing

People Living Alone 22.3%
Median Gross Rent $1,182
Median House Value $182,800

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 28.2%
US/American 0%
English 9.3%
Irish 10.5%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Surprise Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 6 miles NW of Peoria, Arizona (center to center)
Nearest Large City 19 miles NW of Phoenix, Arizona
County Maricopa
Metro Area Phoenix - Mesa
Standard Zip Codes 85374, 85379, 85387
P.O. Box Zip Codes 85378
Phone Area Codes 623
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city does not observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 33.63
Longitude -112.332

Surprise Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station YOUNGTOWN
Distance 2.8 miles
Jan Temp 41 to 68 F
Apr Temp 54 to 86 F
Jul Temp 79 to 108 F
Oct Temp 59 to 90 F
Annual Precip 9 inches
Station LITCHFIELD PARK
Distance 9.2 miles
Jan Temp 37 to 67 F
Apr Temp 51 to 86 F
Jul Temp 75 to 108 F
Oct Temp 55 to 90 F
Annual Precip 8.6 inches
Station DEER VALLEY (PHOENIX)
Distance 14.7 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 66 F
Apr Temp 51 to 83 F
Jul Temp 77 to 104 F
Oct Temp 57 to 87 F
Annual Precip 7.7 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Surprise, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Dysart Retail (85374)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
El Mirage 33,010 $50,884
Glendale 234,844 $54,866
Litchfield Park 5,253 $94,167
Peoria 163,664 $75,968
Tolleson 6,806 $33,000
Youngtown 6,405 $52,066

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

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Surprise High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

WILLOW CANYON HIGH SCHOOL
17901 W LUNDBERG ST
623-523-8000
Serves 858 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.6

ARIZONA CHARTER ACADEMY
16025 N. DYSART ROAD
623-875-5975
A Charter School.
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 175 students.

SUPERIOR SCHOOL
16025 N. DYSART RD. 100
623-875-5975
A Charter School.
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 132 students.

E-INSTITUTE AT SURPRISE
15688 W ACOMA
623-556-2179
A Charter School.
Serves 15 students.

Study Online in Surprise
Additional Resources
Info for Surprise Government Officials


Are you an official in the Surprise government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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