As a result of the war with Armenia, which started in 1988, more than 1,000,000 people have been forced to leave the region. According to government estimates of Azerbaijan, there are 616,546 (8% of the total population) internally displaced persons as of 1999. Most of these persons were displaced between 1993 and 1994. Since May 1994, when the cease fire was enacted, only 60,000 persons have been able to return to their homes along the front line. Also as of 1999, Azerbaijan hosts 233,682 refugees. Most are Azeri refugees from Armenia. The Law on Citizenship allows for the automatic acquisition of Azerbaijani citizenship by refugees from Armenia. Also, there are some 48,000 Meshketians recently arrived from Central Asia. The Meshketians were originally deported from Georgia under the Stalin era.
Between 1989 and 1995, there was an emigration of Slavic peoples from Azerbaijan. These included 169,000 Russians, 15,000 Ukrainians, and 3,000 Belarusians as they emigrated back to their homelands. As of 2001 there were 148,000 migrants living in Azerbaijan, with less than 1% of these being refugees. However, as of that year the net migration rate was -0.8% per thousand with a total loss of 7,000 people. The government views this migration level as satisfactory.