We studied prospectively the occurrence of hip fractures among the over 49-year-old urban populations (n = 88,206) in the cities Tampere, Jyväskylä and Kotka in 1989 and compared the results with a parallel Scandinavian multicentre study. During 1989, there were 266 inhabitants who were treated for a hip fracture, 213 of them were women. Women had in 132 cases a femoral neck fracture and in 81 cases a trochanteric fracture, and the corresponding numbers for men were 22 and 31. Among women, the total hip fracture incidence in Jyväskylä (n = 22) was the lowest when compared with the ones in Tampere (n = 47) and Kotka (n = 36). These incidences were on average lower than in the other Scandinavian cities studied in parallel. The all over ratio of femoral neck/trochanteric fractures was 1.1 in Tampere, 3.0 in Jyväskylä and 2.2 in Kotka and in Tampere, women had 9.3 times more femoral neck fractures than men. Our study showed that in Finland in three major cities the hip fracture incidence was lower than what has been similarly registered in corresponding urban populations in other Scandinavian countries. We also point out that the relative part of trochanteric fractures appears to be increasing.