Surprise, Arizona Population 2023

150,837

Surprise is a city located in Maricopa County Arizona. With a 2023 population of 150,837, it is the 10th largest city in Arizona and the 189th largest city in the United States.Surprise is currently growing at a rate of 1.73% annually and its population has increased by 5.37% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 143,148 in 2020. Spanning over 108 miles, Surprise has a population density of 1,396 people per square mile.

The average household income in Surprise is $82,212 with a poverty rate of 9.47%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Surprise is 41.9 years, 41.5 years for males, and 42.4 years for females.

Surprise is located in Maricopa County, Arizona about 30 miles northwest of Phoenix and part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Metro Phoenix has an estimated population of 4.7 million and Surprise is the 9th largest city in the area. Surprise is the second-fastest growing municipality in the metro area after Gilbert and was the 6th fastest growing city or town in the U.S. in the 1990s.

Diversity and Population Statistics

Just under 9% of the population of Surprise is foreign-born. Surprise is considered a fairly old city with an average age among residents of 46 years compared to 38 for the United States (https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/us-median-age-hits-all-time-high-38-record-86248-are-100-or-older) as a whole.

Population Growth

In 2016, Surprise was named one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. In 2019, the state was also ranked as the 3rd fastest growing in part due to shrinking wages and affordability in the area. Maricopa County has led Arizona's population growth, reporting eight straight years of population gains since 2011 (https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/04/18/census-maricopa-population-gains/) and adding 81,000 new residents among the 122,000 new people who moved to Arizona. While Surprise remains popular among retirees, it's also gaining attention from people in the labor force, especially those struggling to keep up with California's rising housing costs and stagnant wages.

Surprise, Arizona is a young city founded by Flora Statler in 1938. She named the city because she would be "surprised if the town ever amounted to much." The town was believed to have been founded by her husband, a real estate developer named Homer Ludden, but property records in 2010 showed Statler was the owner before she met Ludden.

In the early years, Surprise was nothing more than a gas station and affordable homes for agricultural workers but it has grown rapidly since. Surprise was incorporated in 1960 and became a popular destination for retirees beginning in the 1990s and 2000s. This led to the development of Sun City Grand, an age-restricted community which has grown from 10,000 residents to 75,000 residents in 2004.

Surprise Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Surprise was:

  • White: 83.05%
  • Black or African American: 5.37%
  • Other race: 4.46%
  • Two or more races: 3.92%
  • Asian: 2.78%
  • Native American: 0.29%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.14%
The current population of Surprise, Arizona is 150,837 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 143,148.

Surprise, Arizona Population 2023

Population by Race

White

Black or African American

Other race

Two or more races

Asian

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Surprise Population by Race

Surprise Population Pyramid 2023

Surprise Median Age

41.9

Total

41.5

Male

42.4

Female

Surprise Adults

There are 104,407 adults, (32,166 of whom are seniors) in Surprise.

Surprise Age Dependency

92.4

Age Dependency Ratio

44.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

47.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Surprise Sex Ratio

Female73,18252.65%
Male65,82547.35%

Surprise Population by Age

Surprise Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

3.14

Average Family Size

2.76

Average Household Size

75.5%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Surprise Households and Families

Male

Female

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Surprise Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Surprise Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

The highest rate of high school graduation is among native american people with a rate of 92.08%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 37.64%.

Surprise Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

$44,019

Average Earnings

$52,059

Average Male

$36,218

Average Female

Surprise Earnings by Educational Attainment

Surprise Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Surprise Language

87.09% of Surprise residents speak only English, while 12.91% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 8.51% of the population.

Surprise Language

Surprise Poverty by Race

rate

9.47%

Overall Poverty Rate

7.01%

Male Poverty Rate

8.14%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Surprise

The race most likely to be in poverty in Surprise is Other, with 19.24% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Surprise is Asian, with 5.73% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.32%. Among those working part-time, it was 9.75%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 10.85%.

Surprise Poverty

Surprise Poverty Rate by Education

Surprise Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Surprise Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Surprise Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

58.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

61.0%

Male Marriage Rate

56.6%

Female Marriage Rate

Surprise Married by Age and Sex

male

female

Surprise Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Surprise Marital Status by Race

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Surprise Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

11,943

Number of Veterans

11,150

Male Veterans

793

Female Veterans

Surprise Veterans by War

Surprise Veterans by Age

count

Surprise Veterans by Race

Surprise Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

4.35%

Veteran Poverty Rate

26.84%

Veteran Disability Rate

Surprise Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

55.4%

Labor Force Participation

51.9%

Employment Rate

4.7%

Unemployment Rate

Surprise Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Surprise Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Surprise Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

29.72%

Born in Surprise

89.07%

Native Born

8.04%

Foreign Born

2.84%

Non Citizen

5.2%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

89.07% of Surprise residents were born in the United States, with 29.72% having been born in Arizona. 2.84% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Surprise Place of Birth

Note: data after 2020 is projected based on recent growth

Surprise Population by Year