Abstract Background: People from Asian populations are generally shorter than other ethnic groups. It is unknown if current universal height references are suitable for affluent South Asian children in the Netherlands. Aims: To develop height-for-age charts for contemporary South Asian children aged 0-20 years living in the Netherlands, to evaluate secular trends, and to compare the charts with current Asian Indian, Dutch and WHO references. Subjects and methods: A population-based study measured 3315 South Asian children aged 0-20 years between 2007-2010. Among this cohort, 6876 measurements were taken. Another 7388 measurements were taken of a historical cohort of 1078 children born between 1974-1976 (aged 0-18 years). Results: An upward trend in height was observed for South Asian children living in the Netherlands between 1992-2010. The height-for-age charts of the South Asian historical cohort were similar to current Asian Indian charts. South Asian children in the Netherlands were shorter than their Dutch contemporaries at every age; and these differences increased further during adolescence. Compared to the WHO height-for-age references, there were considerable discrepancies in height, with curves intersecting twice. Conclusion: The discrepancies between the South Asian and Dutch and WHO height-for-age references indicate differences in growth patterns between the source populations.