In 1962, some 180,000 Algerian refugees were repatriated from Tunisia and Morocco; after independence was declared that July, about 650,000 French Algerians and more than 200,000 harkis (Algerian Muslims who fought on the French side during the war of independence and chose to retain French citizenship) emigrated to France. The exodus reduced the French population from about 10% of the total in 1961 to less than 1% in 1981. Around 24,000 displaced persons from Mali and Niger located in the southern Algerian region of Tamanrasst, Adrar, and Illizi. In 1995, UNHCR started the repatriation of the Tuareg refugees back to Mali and Niger. Repatriation was complete as of June 1998, benefiting some 6,302 Malians and 3,259 Nigerians. At the closing of the refugee camps, some 200 residual refugees remained. As of May 1997, there were an estimated 4,000 Palestinians that were well integrated in Algerian society. As a result of the war between the Polisario guerrillas and Morocco over the Western Sahara, about 150,000 Sahrawi refugees fled to Algeria. In 1999 there were 165,000 refugees from Western Sahara in the region of Tindouf of southwestern Algeria. As of 2000, there was a total of 169,500 refugees remaining in Algeria.
The net migration rate for Algeria was -1.8 migrants per 1,000 population, which was a loss of 52,000 people. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.