Half of the Surinamese Dutch population is second generation


According to new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), nearly half of all Dutch of Surinamese origin were also born in the Netherlands. These are primarily the children of Surinamese people who migrated to the Netherlands in the 1970s.

Second-generation Surinamese equal in number to first generation

Of all people in the Netherlands who have a Surinamese background, 48 percent were also born here. Back in the 1970s, this share was only one in five. Over the past four decades, the number of second-generation Surinamese has increased steadily while the first generation has only increased slightly since the early 1990s, and has declined somewhat over the last ten years. According to Statistics Netherlands’ population forecast, the second generation will outnumber the first in the next three years.

Population of Surinamese origin in the Netherlands, 1975-2015

First generation mainly arrived between 1975 and 1980

On 25 November 1975, Surinam (a former Dutch colony) became independent. That year, 40 thousand people emigrated from Surinam to the Netherlands. This was followed by another immigration peak from 1979 to 1980. Surinamese people were only allowed to keep Dutch nationality if they settled down in the Netherlands within a period of maximum five years following independence. Another group of Surinamese migrated to the Netherlands in the early 1990s when Surinam was facing tough economic times.

More women than men

The second-generation men and women are almost equal in number. Among the first generation of Surinamese, there are more women than men: almost 100 thousand as opposed to around 80 thousand men. The difference is most significant in the group aged 30 to 60 years. This difference came about gradually as slightly more women than men of Surinamese origin arrived in the Netherlands while more men than women left the Netherlands.

Age composition among people of Surinamese origin in the Netherlands, 2015

Almere popular among Surinamese Dutch

People of Surinamese descent make up 2.1 percent of the Dutch population, and most of them live in the urbanised central Randstad area. Their share in the population is highest in Almere: in 2015, they represent one in every nine local residents. The second generation is less likely than their parents to take up residence in the four largest cities but instead opts for the surrounding municipalities such as  Barendrecht, Capelle aan de IJssel, Zoetermeer, Rijswijk, Almere and Diemen.