This study reports on the incidence of primary total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for primary osteoarthritis in Australia. Age-specific and gender-specific numbers for Australia, 1994 through 1998, and South Australia, 1988 through 1998, were obtained. Incidences were calculated per 100,000 population. In Australia, primary THA increased from 50.9/10(5) (1994) to 60.9/10(5) (1998). TKA increased from 56.4/10(5) to 76.8/10(5). Stratified by age and gender, changes in incidence for South Australia with respect to time were tested using regression analysis. South Australia showed a significant increase in the overall incidence of THA (P=.012) and TKA (P<.001), although this was not uniform across all age groups. No significant gender differences were found. The incidence of THA is increasing, and the incidence of TKA is increasing at a greater rate.