The incidence of lymphoid malignancies (acute leukemias and myelomatosis excluded) during 1969-1987 in the County of Uppsala was calculated on the basis of the regional cancer register and local registers from the only oncological, hematological, dermatological and pathological departments in this well-defined geographical area. Of the 774 patients included, 639 had histopathological specimens available, all of which were re-examined. Seventy-nine patients were diagnosed on the basis of bone marrow investigations (greater than 70% re-examined, all had a low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma = NHL) and 54 on fine-needle aspiration biopsies (not re-examined). Seventy-nine of the lymphoma diagnoses were based on autopsy specimens. The overall age standardized incidence was 16.2/100,000/year (NHL: 13.6, Hodgkin's disease = HD: 1.5) according to the Swedish 1970 census (according to world standard population: 10.2); male: 20.9 (12.9) and female: 12.4 (7.9). The annual change in trend was +3.0% +/- 2.6 (NHL: +3.6% +/- 2.4, HD: no change). The omission of the 54 'fine needle cases' led to an overall incidence of 15.0 (9.7) and an annual change in trend of +3.5% +/- 1.9. Among the histopathological specimens, an NHL was found in 524 patients and HD in 69. In 46 registered patients, the diagnosis malignant lymphoma was wrong. The diagnosis changed to NHL in 43 patients registered as HD.