This population-based study examined motor vehicle crash hospitalization rates and death rates among children and youth in rural and urban areas of the province of Alberta, Canada. Using police report data (1997-2002, inclusive), average annual motor vehicle crash hospitalization and death rates among those 0-19 years of age were calculated for rural and urban regions. Across all age and sex strata examined, both the hospitalization and the fatality rates were significantly higher in rural compared with urban regions. After adjusting for age, sex and calendar year, the relative risk of a motor vehicle crash hospitalization (rural versus urban) was 3.0 (95% CI: 2.8, 3.2). After adjusting for age, sex and calendar year, the relative risk of a motor vehicle crash fatality was 5.4 (95% CI: 4.2, 6.9). Motor vehicle crash injury hospitalization and fatality rates among children and youth in the province of Alberta are considerably higher in rural areas compared with urban areas. There is a need to identify social, demographic and environmental driving hazards associated with the rural environment.