Bijlmermeer was built for success, but it never attracted many middle class families. Reasons for this can be found in numerous areas. First, following Surinam's independence in 1975, many of its inhabitants migrated to the Netherlands. The government placed these immigrants in affordable social housing in the Bijlmermeer.
The neighborhood quickly gained a reputation for being a "black" part of town. The relatively low incomes and social status of its unsettled inhabitants made for a problematic mix with the area's large scale buildings, which afforded little social control. It has a high crime rate, but this decreased in recent years; the number of registered complaints to the police decreased from 20,000 in 1995 (2,000 of which were robberies) to 8,000 (600 robberies) in 2005