Many people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina fled the war that followed independence. In other countries, their numbers were lumped together with other refugees from "Yugoslavia" or "former Yugoslavia." As of 1999, more than 330,000 Bosnian refugees were still in need of a permanent home. Within Bosnia, as many as 836,000 people were still displaced from their homes (490,000 in the Federation; 346,000 in Republica Srpska). An estimated 110,000 Bosnian refugees and 30,000 displaced people returned to their homes from outside and within Bosnia in 1998. Only some 41,000 minority returns occurred in 1998, and some 3,000 in 1999. Conflict in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Republica Srpska somewhat interfered with the return process.
Until the Kosovo crisis, Bosnia had been hosting some 30,000 refugees from Croatia, which led to the arrival of other groups from FRY, including 21,300 Muslims from the Sandzak region, 8,500 Kosovo Albanians, and 30,100 others from various areas of the FRY. As of 1999, many of these refugees had returned to their homeland, but some 15,000 were expected to remain in Bosnia. In 2000, the net migration rate was 27 migrants per 1,000 population. Worker remittances in that year totaled $549 million, or 12.9 of GDP. The government views the emigration level as unsatisfactory.