Little immigration has occurred since the original settlement in the 9th and 10th centuries. In the last quarter of the 19th century, because of unfavorable conditions, about 12,000 residents of Iceland emigrated to Canada and the US. After 1900, net emigration decreased substantially.
As of 1997, 375 refugees had arrived in Iceland since 1956. In recent years Iceland has not received a substantial number of refugees or asylum seekers. During the Kosovo crisis, Iceland offered to take up to 100 refugees under the UNHCR/IOM Humanitarian Evacuation Programme. A total of 70 people were actually evacuated to Iceland, 16 of whom returned to Kosovo by 1999. In 2000 the net migration rate was 0.2 migrants per 1,000 population. There were 16,000 migrants living in Iceland in that year. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.