Sizable migration during the two world wars resulted from military operations, territorial changes, and population transfers. Peacetime emigration in the decades before World War I was heavy (about 1,400,000 between 1899 and 1913). Emigration of non-Magyars was prompted by the repressive policy of Magyarization; groups also left because of economic pressures, the majority going to the United States and Canada. In the interwar period, migration was negligible, but after 1947 many thousands left, despite restrictions on emigration. As a result of the October 1956 uprising, approximately 250,000 persons fled Hungary. The largest numbers ultimately emigrated to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), France, Switzerland, and Australia. Emigration totaled 42,700 between 1981 and 1989. It is now virtually nonexistent; only 778 persons left in 1991, according to official statistics.
Since 1960, net migration from the villages to the cities has decreased, from about 52,000 that year to 20,814 in 1986. Since 1989, Hungary has received nearly 155,000 refugees, with major influxes from Romania in 1988–89 and the former Yugoslavia in 1991–92. About 5,400 asylum-seekers have been recognized as refugees since 1989. Nearly 2,400 asylum-seekers were in Hungarian refugee reception centers, including some 200 recognized refugees, in 1999. In the 1990s Hungary provided temporary protection for over 32,000 Bosnians. Most of these refugees have resettled to another country or repatriated. The Temporary Protection status of some 480 Bosnian refugees, who remained in Hungary in the latter part of the 1990s, was withdrawn by the government in mid-1999. As a result of the Kosovo crisis, 2,800 Yugoslav asylum-seekers arrived in Hungary, including 1,000 Kosovo Albanians. The organized voluntary repatriation of refugees began in August 1999, when the first 185 Kosovars returned to their homeland. In 1999, the net migration rate was 0.5 migrants per 1,000 population.