From 1866 to 1930, a total of 361,020 Finns emigrated, mostly to the US and, after the US restriction of immigration, to Canada. After World War II, about 250,000 to 300,000 Finns permanently emigrated to Sweden. This migration ended by the 1980s because of a stronger Finnish economy.
More than 400,000 people fled the Soviet occupation of Karelia during World War II. There was also a heavy migration from rural areas, particularly the east and northeast, to the urban, industrialized south, especially between 1960 and 1975. By 1980, 90% of all Finns lived in the southernmost 41% of Finland.
As of May 1997, Finland had 14,000 refugees. Most of these were from the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, and Vietnam. Finland accepts 500 refugees each year for those who need an alternative to their first country of asylum. In 1995 and 1996, 500 additional places for resettlement were granted to former Yugoslavian refugees. During the latter half of the 1990s, Finland received on average 700–900 asylum-seekers per year. Approximately 60% of applicants were granted a residence permit. By July 1999, more than 1,000 Slovak Romas applied for asylum in Finland, prompting the Finnish government to implement a temporary four-month visa plan for Slovak citizens. By August 1999, 993 people had been evacuated from Macedonia to Finland; the evacuees were granted temporary protection for 11 months, with the potential for renewal for a maximum total of three years. In 1999 the net migration rate was 0.4 migrants per 1,000 population.