Appropriate interpretation of monitored fetal growth throughout pregnancy in individual patients and populations is dependent upon the availability of adequate standards. Previously published standards either were based on small samples, data decades old or were characteristic of foreign subpopulations. We have reviewed the data on a series of 46,575 singleton live births at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from 1979 to 1989. The ratio of males to females was 1.08. The fetal growth pattern in the third trimester of pregnancy approximates a sigmoid curve. Fetal growth was most rapid from the 32nd to the 37th week of gestation with an average increase of 240 g per week. The birth weight declined beyond 42 weeks' gestation. There were significantly greater weight gains amongst male fetuses as compared to female fetuses from the 34th to the 42nd week of gestation. The mean birth weight recorded at 40 weeks' gestation in male and female newborns was 3,381 g and 3,262 g, respectively. Comparing the birth weight of term pregnancies using our data, with those of a previous, two-decade old report (1945-1967) by Chen, we found that birth weight were slightly higher in this study. The derived fetal growth curves are useful for clinical, public health, and investigational purposes.