As many as 45,000 Nigerian laborers served in Equatorial Guinea in the early 1970s, mostly working on Bioko cocoa plantations. In 1975, Nigeria began evacuating those contract laborers, charging the Equatorial Guinean government with a long history of mistreating them. These plantations are now short of labor.
About 100,000 people fled into exile during the regime of Francisco Macías Nguema. About 130,000 were abroad in 1993, including an estimated 80,000 in Gabon and 30,000 in Cameroon.
The net migration for Equatorial Guinea in 1999 was zero. However, migration to Spain is a traditional and ongoing occurrence. Between 80% and 90% of Equatorial Guinean nationals who go to Spain do not return. There were approximately 1,000 migrants in Equatorial Guinea in 2000. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.