Although specific figures are not available, there is known to have been significant outward migration in the 1980s, creating shortages of skilled workers and managers. Unofficial estimates put the number at 10,000 to 30,000 a year in the late 1980s, chiefly persons of Asian Indian extraction. Their destination was chiefly the US and Canada. According to 1999 estimates, about 50,000 Guyanese citizens live in the Venezuelan territory that borders Guyana and are fully integrated into the local population.
Guyana has traditionally had only a very small number of asylum-seekers, mainly from Cuba and Angola. In 2000 the net migration rate was -10.6 migrants per 1,000 population, down from -13.6 per 1,000 in 1990. The total number of migrants in Guyana in 2000 was 2,000. The government views the emigration level as too high.