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.
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.