About This Place
Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid growth has boosted the city's population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%. As such, it is the second fastest-growing municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (after Gilbert) and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona.
The city has a 10,562-square-foot (981.2 m2) Aquatics Center, Maricopa County's northwest regional library, a $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) library, and a 100.3 cost of living index.
The city was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it Surprise as she "would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much". Surprise officials previously thought the city was founded by Statler's husband, real estate developer and state legislator Homer C. Ludden, but in 2010 property records were discovered which listed Statler owning the land before she met Ludden. Although there were only a few houses and a gas station on the one-mile (1.6 km)-square parcel of land when it was subdivided to build inexpensive houses for agricultural workers, Surprise has experienced tremendous growth in the years since. It incorporated into a city in 1960.