In the late seventies the World Health Organization developed a strategy of Health for all towards year 2000, to which Norwegian health authorities have consented. This article presents and discusses the sub-goals for expectation of life and mortality, and analyzes the possibilities of reaching them. The desired reduction of at least 25% in accident mortality rates and cardiovascular mortality rates in relation to the reference period 1976-80 will probably be reached. In addition, the desired 15% reduction in cancer mortality is likely to be reached for persons under 40 years of age. Infant mortality does not appear to be declining, cancer mortality for people over 40 years of age is increasing, and the suicidal and homicidal rates are increasing faster than any other cause of death. The possibilities of reversing this development require a structured plan and comprehensive changes in the way society is organized, with more emphasis on care, social network planning and reduction of the multicausal risk load that modern life implies. Some of the sub-goals are not sufficiently founded on accessible information, and should be revised.