Located in the north of Maricopa County, Surprise is a municipality of the city of Phoenix, and makes up the northern “branch” of Phoenix. Surprise began its life as a collection of homes and a single gas station in 1938, founded by the businesswoman Flora Mae Statler. It would be Statler who would be responsible for naming Surprise, supposedly originating from Statler’s statement that it “would be a surprise if this town amounted to much”. In spite of her pessimism, Surprise has amounted to quite a lot, and is now known for hosting one of the largest retirement communities in the south-western United States. Surprise is populous, and has plenty to do for people of all age groups, owing to its proximity to Phoenix proper, and has every utility any resident could possibly need.
Surprise, AZ Population & Demographics
Surprise might surprise you with just how large its population is, considering it’s only a municipality of Phoenix, containing 138,144 residents in its 108 square miles at a distribution of 1,250 people per square mile. Surprise has a median age of 40.8, which is about 10% higher than the median of 38 for the state of Arizona. The median household income in Surprise is $70,280.
Surprise is a pretty ethnically homogenous city, with 71% of the population being Caucasian, but this community also has a significant amount of Hispanics, accounting for 16% of the population of the city. There are also more women than men in Surprise, with 52% of the population being female.
Surprise’s zip codes include 85374, 85379, 85387, and 85388. Surprise’s area code is 623.
Thinking about moving to Surprise, but worried about the crime rate? Thankfully for you, Surprise’s crime rate is 36% lower than the US national average! Violent crime is a massive 68% lower than the national average here, while property crime is 30% lower. Needless to say, you and your loved ones will be safe while living in Surprise!
Cost of Living in Surprise, AZ
Those thinking about living in Surprise should know that the cost of living here is more expensive than the US average, but only nominally so. In fact, the cost of living in Surprise is only 1% more expensive in terms of cost of living than the national average. This is mainly due to housing, a unit costing you around $260,500, about 4% more than the national average. However, you can expect just about everything else to cost you less, with costing 4% less, groceries costing 3% less, and transportation costing 8% less than the national average. You’ll find that renting here is also a little higher than average, with an apartment usually costing you around $1,247 per month.
Here’s some more typical living costs in Surprise to get a better grip on how much this city will cost you:
- Loaf of bread – $3.24
- Gallon of milk – $1.89
- Carton of eggs – $1.76
If you intend to live in Surprise, you’ll find that the costs here are just around what you’d expect for its size, although you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you come from very expensive areas, like coastal cities.
Surprise, AZ Schools & Colleges
Surprise is served by the Dysart Unified School District, which hosts almost all of the public K-12 schooling within city limits. There are also several other options, like the public Arizona Charter Academy, as well as a multitude of private schools. The benefits of the local school system are immense, and you can expect to find plenty of opportunities to enrich and expand your child’s learning experience no matter which system you end up in. Excellent institutions like the Canyon Ridge K-8 School, which has a 9/10 on GreatSchools, and the Paradise Honors High School, with an 8/10, will ensure your child is put on the path to success early.
Interested in higher education? There are plenty of highly-rated colleges in Surprise, AZ! Within 25 miles, you’ll find studious and accomplished universities like the Chamberlain College of Nursing, Arizona, as well as the Grand Canyon University, a private Christian university. No matter which university you choose, you’re sure to find success within Surprise’s excellent school system!
Surprise, AZ Climate & Weather
Surprise is smack-dab in the center of the desert regions of the south-western United States, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that you won’t have to worry about snow, but will have to worry about heat! You can expect lows of 42 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months, and highs of 105 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. Additionally, Surprise only gets nine inches of rainfall a year on average, while getting absolutely no snow. If you’re planning on visiting Surprise, the best months to do so would be March and November, when the weather is most comfortable.
Best Neighborhoods in Surprise, AZ
Surprise is a big place, totaling about 105 square miles in space, and that means you’ll have access to plenty of different neighborhoods that’ll suit any kind of lifestyle.
The primary draw of this area is Sun City Grand, a large resort-like community for older people. Restricted to residents aged 45 and up, this development, as well as its workers and sister developments, make up the majority of Surprise’s population. Home to the very best golf courses in the city, Sun City Grand is the place to be if you’re a retiree!
However, the Sun City development certainly isn’t the only great place to live in Surprise. If you’re interested in seeing the full range of homes for sale in Surprise, AZ, you can do so here.
Jobs in Surprise, AZ
Those looking to make a living in Surprise will be glad to know that wages have been increasing as of late, with cost of living also growing, but at a slower rate. The most prolific employers in this city are Banner Health, CVS/Pharmacy, and the Dysart School District, while the most popular positions worked here are medical assistant, certified nursing assistant, and cashier. The average hourly wage for a worker in this community is $15.70, and the average yearly salary is $54k.
If you’re looking to succeed in Surprise, the healthcare and education sectors are your best bet for a high wage and stable job. Check out the latest listings for employment in Surprise, AZ to learn which jobs are currently open.
Things to Do in Surprise, AZ
There’s plenty of fun attractions for the whole family in Surprise, AZ! For one, Surprise has plenty of excellent shopping, with top-rated shopping centers like Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace. Surprise also has plenty of interesting things to do, some of which are listed below:
Hosting the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers, if there’s a big game in Surprise, it’ll no doubt be here! With excellent seating and services, this is the spot to be if you want to watch the next big game!
15930 N Bullard Ave, Surprise, AZ 85374, (623) 222-2222
Surprise Community Park
One of the most expansive parks in the area, the Surprise Community Park has everything from BBQ pits to fishing ponds to a waterpark. The Surprise Community Park is a great activity to do with kids!
Surprise, AZ 85374, 623-222-2000
Don’t think that’s all Surprise has to offer! Check out more attractions in Surprise below:
Places to Eat in Surprise, AZ
Not to be outdone by its wide variety of attractions, Surprise is also home to a wide variety of fantastic eateries and luxurious, high class restaurants. Check out some of Surprise’s best joints below!
Irish Wolfhound Pub
A little piece of Ireland in the desert! Irish Wolfhound aims to bring the authentic food, drink, and atmosphere of the classic Irish pub, all right here in Surprise!
16811 N Litchfield Rd #104, Surprise, AZ 85374, (623) 214-1004
Big Buddha is the highest rated Chinese food place in Surprise, and with good reason! The food is authentic and tasty Chinese food, made with real ingredients by real chefs!
16572 W Greenway Rd #115, Surprise, AZ 85388, (623) 266-3328
Tips for Moving to Surprise, AZ
- Healthcare workers and educators are sure to find success here
- Enjoy the wide range of attractions in Surprise
- Make use of Surprise’s excellent public school districts
Interested in Surprise, AZ? Ready to begin your journey in making Surprise your new home? Mentor’s Moving can help! We offer the very best Surprise, AZ moving services in the whole state! Give us a call or fill out our form for a free quote.