A nationwide cooperative incidence survey of leukemia was carried out from 1986 to 1988 in a cooperative survey network covering 46 investigating areas. More than 60 million person-years were supervised and 1670 new cases identified. The annual incidence of leukemia was 2.76/10(5), and the 95% confidence interval of the population rate ranged from 2.63/10(5) to 2.89/10(5). The incidences in oil fields and polluted areas were significantly higher than those in other areas. The incidence of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL) was 1.62/10(5); acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), 0.69/10(5); chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML), 0.36/10(5); chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), 0.05/10(5); and special types, 0.03/10(5). The incidence and constituent ratio of CLL were significantly lower than those in Europe and America. A peak of ALL incidence before age 10 was seen; this rate then declined with increasing age until 30. However, the incidences of other leukemias rose with age, reaching peaks at old age (50-70). The leukemia rate in males was significantly higher than in females, both in youth (10-29) (caused by ALL) and at age old (mainly caused by ANLL). The incidences of ANLL subtypes (including M2b) are reported.