Y-chromosomal STR loci are of increasing interest in paternity testing, forensic casework, anthropological and evolutionary studies. We participate in a cooperation to establish an international reference database of at least nine Y-chromosomal STR loci to be used for biostatistic calculations. We present frequency distributions of nine Y-chromosome specific STR polymorphisms and frequencies of compound haplotypes in two populations. We chose the loci DYS393, DYS19, DYS392, DYS385I, DYS385II, DYS390, DYS391 and DYS389I and II. Blood samples were taken from 136 unrelated male individuals from Cologne (Germany) and of 63 unrelated males from Chengdu (Sichuan Province, PR China). DNA was extracted by a salting out procedure or chelex extraction. PCR was carried out in two multiplex reactions. Fragment analysis was conducted on an ALF- or ALF-express sequencer. Frequency profiles of the German men showed no significant differences compared to most European populations. Mean exclusion chances were between 0.44 for DYS393 and 0.94 for DYS385. Haplotype diversity for the complete haplotype was 86.66% in Germans and 98% in Chinese. The Chinese men showed for all analysed loci except for DYS389I and DYS390 remarkably different allele distributions.