Since independence, government policy has been uniformly opposed to immigration in any form. The advent of independence led to some emigration of foreign nationals, but it was not until the early 1970s, when the government undertook policies of national control and nationalization of foreign businesses, that foreign residents began leaving in any appreciable numbers. Comorans numbered 60,000 in 1976, but after Comoran-Malagasy clashes in December of that year, about 16,000 were repatriated. As of 2000, there were only a small number of refugees in Madagascar, all of urban socioeconomic background. The only workable solution for refugees seems to be resettlement, as the government has not defined legal status for mandate refugees, and the local population is hostile to foreigners in general, particularly refugees.
Rural-to-urban migration is nearly 6% a year. In 1999, the net migration was zero. In 2000 there were 61,000 migrants living in Madagascar. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.