The incidence of hip fracture in Finland was studied for the year 1988. During 1988, 6139 patients were treated for a fresh hip fracture. Three out of four hip fracture patients were women, and the occurrence of cervical fractures was 2.8 times and that of trochanteric fractures 2.5 times more common in women than in men. The incidence rates of hip fractures per 100,000 were 174 in women, 70 in men and 123 in the whole population. The mean hospitalization time for fresh hip fractures was 33 days for cervical fractures and 38 days for trochanteric fractures. The costs of primary hospitalizations due to fresh hip fractures in 1988 were estimated at US $66 million.