Immigration to Venezuela has been significant. After the Spanish colonization of the Americas brought European colonists and African slaves, immigration to Venezuela was significant particularly in the period after World War II, with large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Europe, particularly southern Europe. In addition, Venezuela shares a 1000-mile border with Colombia and has long had substantial numbers of Colombian residents. Since the 1980s, the Colombian conflict has seen largescale Colombian immigration, with Venezuela the number one destination for displaced Colombians: by 2008, there were over 4 million, compared to a total Venezuelan population of around 27 million.
Starting in the early 1500s, Spain discouraged non-Spaniard immigration to its colonies — included Venezuela — to prevent other European countries from asserting claims over the colony. Meanwhile, nearly 200,000 Africans were forcibly brought to supply labor to the agriculture and mining economy.