In the period 1865–1930, nearly 1,400,000 Swedes, or about one-fifth of the country's population, emigrated; over 80% went to the United States, and about 15% to other Nordic countries. The exodus ended by the 1930s, when resource development in Sweden started to keep pace with the population growth. In the 1960s there was a flood of immigration—especially by Finns— that increased the number of aliens in Sweden from 190,621 to 411,280. The number remained steady in the 1970s but increased, though at a slower rate, in the 1980s.
During 1998, 12,800 asylum applications were filed in Sweden. Main countries of origin included Iraq (3,843) and the former Yugoslavia (3,446). The recognition rate is low, but some 40% are usually given residence permits. As of 12 August 1999, 3,729 people had been evacuated from Macedonia to Sweden under the UNHCR/IOM Humanitarian Evacuation Programme. Evacuees, as well as Kosovars who had already sought asylum but whose cases were still pending, were granted temporary protection for an 11-month period, renewable for a maximum of four years. The net migration rate in 1999 was 1.68 migrants per 1,000 population.