Among children and youth in Göteborg, Sweden, the death rate per 100,000 children decreased from 32 in 1971-75 to 24 in 1981-85 and in youth from 76 to 54. Accidents and human violence together with tumours and congenital malformations remained the most important causes of death in children, together accounting for 2/3 of all deaths. A marked decrease in traffic accident deaths among children and young people is an encouraging result of prevention. Among young people human violence (mainly suicide) emerged as the most important cause of death relative to other causes of death. Alcohol-related mortality was also a notable cause of death in this age group. Preventive measures directed against human violence and alcohol-related mortality should be the subject of consistent and sustained committment to action comparable to that applied over many years to traffic accidents.