The Liberian civil war caused a great amount of migration in the early 1990s. In May 1997, there were still 210,000 refugees in Côte d'Ivoire, 420,000 in Guinea, 17,000 in Ghana, 14,000 in Sierra Leone, and 6,000 in Nigeria. Since the beginning of 1997, the situation in Liberia has improved as the warring factions have been disarmed. Repatriation is difficult until after the rainy season ends in October when the roads become passable again; however, between 1997 and 1999, as many as 120,000 refugees were repatriated back to Liberia. Insurgencies that struck Lofa County in April and August 1999 caused major setbacks for UNHCR programs, as Lofa has been the single-largest county of return for Liberian refugees, mainly from Guinea. As of 1999, Liberia was host to 90,000 refugees from Sierra Leone. In that year all Liberian refugees who had fled were presumed to have returned to their homeland.
In 2000, the net migration rate was 36.5 migrants per 1,000 population. This was a significant change from 1990, when the net migration rate stood at -27.0 per 1,000 population. In 2000 there were 160,000 migrants living in Liberia including the 69,300 remaining refugees.