The basic sources of immigration to Uruguay were Spain and Italy. English, French, German, Slavic, and Swiss immigrants also settled in various departments (provinces). In the 1930s, restrictions were placed on immigration, and the importation of seasonal farm workers was stopped. There were 103,002 foreign-born people in 1985. Substantial emigration by Uruguayans for political or economic reasons occurred during the mid-1970s and early 1980s. Official figures suggest that about 180,000 Uruguayans left between 1963 and 1975 and an estimated 500,000 between 1975–95. Argentina and Brazil were the main destinations.
As of 2000, Uruguay had 89,000 migrants, including less than 100 refugees. The net migration rate that year was -1.0 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views the immigration level as too low, and the emigration level as too high.