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Cities Neighboring Surprise
- Phoenix – At the time, Central Avenue, in downtown Phoenix, was the center of nightlife and civic…
- Peoria – Peoria continued to grow throughout the 1990s and 2000s, bringing many new home…
- Litchfield Park
- Sun City
- Sun City West
Flora Mae Statler founded the city of Surprise in 1938, and as the story goes, she once stated that she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much,” giving way to its name. It wasn’t until 2010 that the true founder of the city was actually discovered. Up until that date, town leaders and residents were led to believe that Flora’s husband, a local real estate developer and state legislator Homer C. Ludden, had owned the land when they met; however, she was the sole owner prior to their meeting.
In 1960, Surprise was incorporated into a city. During this time the city was subdivided into inexpensive housing developments to provide homes for the growing number of agricultural workers in the area. During the late 1980s, all throughout the 1990s, and in the early 2000s, the city experienced significant growth in the form of tens-of-thousands of retirees.
Major developers not only built their age-restricted communities, including Del Webb’s Sun City Grand, Sun City, and Sun City West, which increased Surprise’s population from around 10,000 residents to about 75,000 by 2004. Today, the city caters to all new homebuyers looking to buy affordable homes with low property taxes and in close proximity to Phoenix.
Surprise is located roughly 20 miles northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The land area of the city is 69.5 square miles (180.0 km²), of which only .03 percent is water. South of Surprise is Litchfield Park and to the northwest is Wittman.
2010 U.S. Census Population: 117,517
85.8% White (49.8% Non-Hispanic White Alone)
23.4% Hispanics or Latinos
2.6% Black or African American
0.4% American Indian and Alaskan Native
0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
7.9% from Some Other Race
2.0% from Two or More Races
Per capita income: $21,451 (2000 U.S. Census)
Median household income: $44,156 (2000 U.S. Census)
Leading industries: agriculture, food service, retail, construction, waste management
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