In the northwest corner of the Phoenix Metropolitan area lies the City of Surprise, a vibrant, emerging community that’s home to many growing & established innovative companies, international headquarters, and the region’s newest retail, restaurant and entertainment power center. More than 150,000 city residents enjoy a diverse, connected community bursting with recreational amenities, desirable neighborhoods and quick access to Greater Phoenix.

Principal Economic Activities

Surprise is a city on the rise. Over the last 20 years, the city’s population has increased by 200%, and it has emerged as a sustainable community working towards global connectivity. One of the main economic drivers for the City of Surprise is its industrial manufacturing that is enhanced by high quality rail-served land. The city’s Railplex, a two-square mile, shovel ready industrial park serviced by BNSF Railway, has completely sold out and features a foreign trade zone and four corporate headquarters with more than 2,000 jobs. Retail activity is also big in Surprise, which is the home of the Greater Phoenix area’s newest retail, restaurant, and entertainment center, the 700,000 square foot Village at Prasada. Moving forward, Surprise is focused on bringing high-quality Class A office development as well as developing the infrastructure for North Surprise to accommodate the future employment growth in that area. North Surprise is one of the fastest growing regions in Maricopa County as tens of thousands of single- and multi-family homes are being built or are in review today.

Surprise has a progressive approach for supporting high-employment projects and is skilled at identifying incentives to assist the critical needs of incoming projects. With great amenities, a talented workforce and city support, it’s no wonder hundreds of businesses call Surprise home.

Scenic Attractions

Surprise is located adjacent to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park, which offers 30,000 acres of beautiful outdoor recreational space, including 40 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as camping and education opportunities. Various citywide events are held throughout the year including the Fiesta Grande, the Fine Art and Wine Festival, and the Surprise Founder’s Day Party. Surprise Stadium is the Spring Training home of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals, as well as the Arizona Fall League home of the Surprise Saguaros, and the NAIA home field for the Ottawa University Spirit.

Community Facilities

Recreation is big in this beautiful Sonoran desert community. The Surprise Civic and Recreation Campus provides 250 acres of world-class recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. The 25-court Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is the largest in the southwest and attracts both tennis legends and United States Tennis Association tournaments. Other campus amenities include an urban fishing lake, a 37-acre community park, a library, an aquatic center and the state’s first adaptive recreation field. Adjacent to the campus lies Ottawa University AZ, the region’s newest university campus, which features a 35,000 square foot recreation facility, student housing, and a state-of the-art, 97,000 square foot competitive athletic field. For those who love golf, the city has eight gorgeous 18-hole golf courses, including one at the award-winning Sterling Grove master-planned luxury home community. Surprise also offers a flourishing arts scene with several art galleries, including one in Surprise City Hall, as well as a performing arts center called “The Vista” which hosts nationally recognized musicians, performances and comedians.

Basic Information

Founded 1929 Incorporated 1960
Elevation 1,130 ft. Location Maricopa County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 25 miles San Diego 347 miles
Tucson 140 miles Los Angeles 368 miles
Las Vegas 265 miles  


2000 2010 2023 (est.)
Surprise 30,848 117,688 149,710
Maricopa County 3,072,149 3,824,058 4,507,419
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Surprise 2.20%
Maricopa County 0.70%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 12,241 49,194 62,146
Unemployed 507 4,836 2,948
Unemployment Rate 4.1% 9.8% 4.7%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 7,614 8.0%
High school or equivalent, no college 24,474 25.7%
Some college or Associate degree 35,276 37.1%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 27,842 29.2%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Education, health care & social assistance 13,331 23.6%
Retail trade 8,508 15.0%
Finance, insurance & real estate 5,606 9.9%
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 5,385 9.5%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 5,379 9.5%
Construction 3,668 6.5%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 3,282 5.8%
Public administration 3,224 5.7%
Manufacturing 3,131 5.5%
Other services, except public administration 2,787 4.9%
Wholesale trade 1,183 2.1%
Information 882 1.6%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 229 0.4%

American Community Survey

This profile was prepared by the Arizona Commerce Authority in cooperation with local sources. For further information, please contact:

City of Surprise
Jeanine Jerkovic
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374
Phone: 623-222-3300
Email: [email protected]
WESTMARC (Western Maricopa

14100 N. 83rd Avenue, Suite 150
Peoria, AZ 85381
Phone: 623-435-0431
Email: [email protected]
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
2 N. Central Avenue, Suite 2500
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-256-7700
Email: [email protected]
Arizona Commerce Authority
Statewide Economic Development Group
100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-845-1200
Email: [email protected]

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