Surprise, Arizona Population 2020

142,049

Surprise is a city located in Maricopa County, Arizona. With a 2020 population of 142,049, it is the 10th largest city in Arizona and the 192nd largest city in the United States. Surprise is currently growing at a rate of 1.39% annually and its population has increased by 20.88% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 117,517 in 2010. Spanning over 108 miles, Surprise has a population density of 1,315 people per square mile.

The average household income in Surprise is $78,614 with a poverty rate of 8.42%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,289 per month, and the median house value is $225,200. The median age in Surprise is 41.2 years, 40.5 years for males, and 41.7 years for females. For every 100 females there are 92.6 males.

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 Az Demographics

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

  • White: 84.25%
  • Black or African American: 5.98%
  • Other race: 3.59%
  • Two or more races: 3.01%
  • Asian: 2.67%
  • Native American: 0.36%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.14%
The current population of Surprise, Arizona is 142,049, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 138,161. The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 117,517.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White111,96984.25%
Black or African American7,9425.98%
Some Other Race4,7763.59%
Two or More Races3,9973.01%
Asian3,5532.67%
American Indian and Alaska Native4840.36%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1830.14%

Surprise Az Population Pyramid 2020

Surprise Az Median Age

41.2


Total

40.5


Male

41.7


Female

Surprise Az Adults

There are 101,282 adults, (29,513 of whom are seniors) in Surprise Az.

Surprise Az Age Dependency

85.2

Age Dependency Ratio

41.1

Old Age Dependency Ratio

44.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Surprise Az Sex Ratio

Female

69,012

51.93%

Male

63,892

48.07%

Surprise Az Households and Families

Surprise Az Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Surprise Az Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married81.1%18.9%
All74.8%25.2%
Male70.3%29.7%
Non Family68.2%31.8%
Female55.7%44.3%

74.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All48,0952.7674.8
Married29,2463.2181.1
Non Family12,2971.2768.2
Female5,1443.5255.7
Male1,4083.5570.3

3.2

Average Family Size

2.76

Average Household Size

5.5%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.2%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Surprise Az Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,3792.58%
9th to 12th Grade4,8945.32%
High School Graduate23,40225.43%
Some College27,11529.46%
Associates Degree8,9979.78%
Bachelors Degree16,49917.93%
Graduate Degree8,7529.51%

Surprise Az Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White69,44566,02920,485
Hispanic13,86910,8601,861
Black4,6894,2201,440
Other Race2,8722,187303
Asian2,4892,1361,004
Multiple Races1,3591,275449
Native American36235948
Islander14714725

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 40.34%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$41,182$48,985$35,155
Less Than High School$27,816$30,445$25,745
High School Grad$33,856$40,685$27,433
Some College$40,466$49,494$33,266
Bachelors Degree$52,984$64,476$45,998
Graduate Degree$55,695$72,472$49,769

$41,182

Average Earnings

$48,985

Average Male

$35,155

Average Female

Surprise Az Language

Surprise Az Language by Age

Surprise Az Language

85.39% of Surprise Az residents speak only English, while 14.61% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 9.61% of the population.

Surprise Az Poverty

Surprise Az Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White92,2977,2087.81%
Hispanic24,8792,4769.95%
Black7,88398212.46%
Other4,74851410.83%
Multiple3,9973899.73%
Asian3,5532045.74%
Native484489.92%
Islander1833318.03%

8.42%

Overall Poverty Rate

7.24%

Male Poverty Rate

9.50%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Surprise Az

The race most likely to be in poverty in Surprise Az is Islander, with 18.03% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Surprise Az is Asian, with 5.74% 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 11.04%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 12.32%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School13.26%
High School11.67%
Some College5.40%
Bachelors or Greater3.40%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed29.00%
Male Unemployed23.34%
Female Employed4.69%
Male Employed3.21%

Surprise Az Income

Surprise Az Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$65,160$78,614
Families$74,253$86,065
Married Families$80,378-
Non Families$41,304$52,244

Surprise Az Marital Status

Surprise Az Marital Status

Marriage Rates

57.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

60.6%

Male Marriage Rate

55.1%

Female Marriage Rate

Surprise Az Married by Age and Sex

Surprise Az 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 Az Marital Status by Race

Surprise Az Veterans

11,828

Number of Veterans

10,971

Male Veterans

857

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam4,546
First Gulf War2,706
Second Gulf War1,737
Korea1,107
World War II427
Name Veterans % of Total
White10,35112.02%
Hispanic1,0106.10%
Black79913.74%
Other2878.52%
2 or More21311.52%
Asian1465.25%
Indian327.13%

$Surprise Az Veterans by Education

4.58%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.24%

Veteran Disability Rate

Surprise Az Employment Status

56.4%

Labor Force Participation

51.9%

Employment Rate

6.9%

Unemployment Rate

Surprise Az Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

31.59%

Born in Arizona

91.59%

Native Born

8.41%

Foreign Born

2.99%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

91.59% of Surprise Az residents were born in the United States, with 31.59% having been born in Arizona. 2.99% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020142,0491,9441.39%
2019140,1051,9441.41%
2018138,1613,2462.41%
2017134,9151,9441.46%
2016132,9712,5221.93%
2015130,4492,4671.93%
2014127,9822,8682.29%
2013125,1142,7922.28%
2012122,3222,6742.23%
2011119,6481,9741.68%
2010117,67486,82614.33%
200030,84823,72615.79%
19907,1223,3996.70%
19803,7230.00%