Migration began during the colonial era. Initially this was mainly the colonial elite but expanded during the 1920s and 1930s to the less fortunate inhabitants looking for better education, employment, or other opportunities.
Approximately 350,000 individuals of Surinamese descent now live in the Netherlands, with mass migration beginning in the years leading up to Suriname's independence in 1975, and continuing in the period immediately after independence and during military rule in the 1980s. Surinamese continued to migrate to the Netherlands throughout the 1990s because of the then poor economic situation in Suriname. Most Surinamese people in the Netherlands have a Dutch passport and the majority of whom have been successfully integrated into Dutch society.