A comprehensive life event inventory suitable for questionaire or interviewer administration has been constructed. Two sets of matched scalings of these life events have been derived from the responses of an Australian urban population. Each of the scalings were consistent across the sociodemographic groups in the population. The two scales allow the significance of life events to be scaled in conceptually different ways. The first follows Holmes concept of the extent of life change produced by the event, the second the Paykel concept of the amount of distress caused by the event. The inventory and the scalings are suitable for use in an Australian urban population.