The physical stature of Surinamese soldiers is estimated to have increased by more than 3 cm between 1870 and 1909. In the subsequent four decades, the increase in adult male and female height amounted to 0.3–0.5 cm and 0.9–1.0 cm per decade, respectively. This increase in height continued and accelerated during the second half of the twentieth century. Height increase among African and Hindustani Surinamese males and females was similar. Height differences between African and Hindustani Surinamese were therefore fairly constant over time, at 4–5 cm. Other indicators of nutritional and health status, such as infant mortality, showed continuous improvement, whereas per capita calorie and protein availability improved in the twentieth century.