Indians in the Netherlands
India Netherlands
(Dutch Indians)
India Suriname Netherlands
(Dutch Indo-Surinamese)
Total population
240,000 (estimated)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Amsterdam, Amstelveen, The Hague, Hilversum Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht, Almere, Delft, Haarlemmermeer, Zoetermeer
Dutch, Sarnami Hindustani, English, Sranan Tongo, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Hindi, Punjabi, Sindhi, other Indic languages
Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin, Indian people, Indo-Surinamese

Indians in the Netherlands are residents of Indian origin in the Netherlands. The majority of the people of Indian descent in the Netherlands are of Indo-Surinamese origin.[1] More recently the flow of emigrants from India has increased, especially information technology professionals.


In 2017, 8,630 Indians immigrated to the Netherlands, making them the second largest recent immigrant group after the Syrians.[2] Most of them were highly skilled migrants working in information technology and information services.[3] Moreover, the number of Indians who came to study in the Netherlands has more than tripled: from 425 migrant students in 2012 to 1,400 migrant students in 2017. Between January and November 2019, 6,322 Indians immigrated to the Netherlands.[4] Nevertheless, Indian migrants often stay in the Netherlands temporarily, as about 45% leave the country within six years.[5]

As of 2019, about 48,724 people of Indian immigrant descent lived in the Netherlands.[6] Most of them live in the provinces of North Holland, South Holland and North Brabant.


See also: Indo-Surinamese

After the abolition of slavery in the Dutch colony of Suriname, the Dutch government signed a treaty with the United Kingdom on the recruitment of contract workers. Indians began migrating to Suriname in 1873 from what was then British India as indentured labourers, mostly from the modern-day Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and the surrounding regions.[7]

Up until the independence of Suriname in 1975, all the Indo-Surinamese were formally part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and thus owned a Dutch passport. After the independence a significant portion of the Indo-Surinamese population migrated to the Netherlands, thereby retaining their Dutch passport. Currently there are more than 120,000 Indo-Surinamese living in the Netherlands, of which the majority, about 50,000, in The Hague and surroundings.[citation needed]

Indo-Surinamese are also known in both the Netherlands and Suriname by the Dutch term Hindoestanen, derived from the word Hindustani, lit., "someone from Hindustan".[8] Hence, when Indians migrated to Suriname they were referred to as Hindustanis, people of Indian origin.


In December 2001 the High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora estimated the population of PIOs and Indian citizens at 215,000.[9] According to the Dutch governmental institution Statistics Netherlands (CBS), in January 2016, 32,682 people had their origin from immigrants from India.[10] The Embassy of India states that the Netherlands has the "second largest population of people of Indian origin in Europe (next only to UK)" and that it is "home to about 220,000 Indian and Surinamese Hindustani Diaspora."[11] The Netherlands India Chamber of Commerce & Trade (NICCT) states that there are about 25,000 Indians or persons of Indian origin, excluding the Surinamese Hindustanis.[12]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b ""Indian Community in Netherlands"". Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Het leven hier is beter dan in India". NRC. 28 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Aantal Indiase kennismigranten verdubbeld". 25 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Migranten in Nederland: 'Polen en Indiërs aan kop, dat komt door de markt'". RTL Nieuws. 3 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Een op de drie immigranten vertrekt binnen zes jaar". 20 January 2003.
  6. ^ "Bevolking; leeftijd, migratieachtergrond, geslacht en regio, 1 januari". CBS. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Hindostanen in Suriname (in Dutch)". Outlook. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  8. ^ van der Zeijden, Albert (1990). De cultuurgeschiedenis van de dood. Rodopi. p. 154. ISBN 9789051832167.
  9. ^ Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora December 2001.
  10. ^ "CBS StatLine - Population; sex, age, origin and generation, 1 January". Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  11. ^ Embassy of India: Indian Community in Netherlands.
  12. ^ NICCT: Growing Indian Community in The Netherlands.