To monitor mortality rates from malignant melanoma we analysed all patients in Sweden (6,324) who died of malignant melanoma in 1953 through 1987. Age-standardised rates per 10(5) increased from 1.1 to 4.0 in men and from 1.0 to 2.6 in women. The average annual increase levelled off in men from 4.6% during 1953-1967 to 2.0% in 1978-1987; and in women from 3.7% to 0%. Multivariate analyses showed that the change in rates for men was mainly due to a birth-cohort effect, whereas in women the rates changed similarly in all age-groups in accordance with a time-period effect. The risk of dying of malignant melanoma increased in men for birth cohorts up to 1932, whereas in women the rise continued for cohorts born as late as 1947. The best-fitted multivariate models were extrapolated to the year 2007, among men a slight increase in mortality rates seemed likely, whereas among women the rates will probably remain unchanged.