A large-scale population survey was conducted to clarify the degree of harm and feature of distribution of stroke in China. 5 800,000 of a billion people were investigated in 29 provinces and cities excluding Taiwan province. The incidence, prevalence and mortality were standardized by direct method using the world standard population. The incidence of stroke was 109.95 per 100,000 people in 1986 and its 95% CI (confidence interval) 107.25-112.65 per 100,000. The age-standardized incidence was 115.87/100,000. The point prevalence of stroke was 245.49 per 100,000 people on December 31, 1986 and its 95% CI 241.57-249.61 per 100,000, with an age-standardized prevalence of 259.86 per 100,000. The mortality of stroke was 76.78 per 100,000 in 1986 and its 95% CI 74.52-79.04 per 100,000, with an age-standardized mortality of 80.94 per 100,000. There was a tendency for the rates to increase gradually from south to north and to decrease progressively from east to west. The models of linear regression were established between latitude and rates as well as between longitude and rates. The incidence, prevalence and mortality of stroke differed significantly in various topographic areas. They were much higher in cities than in rural areas, and much higher in men than in women. The incidence, prevalence and mortality increased with age, and their relationships fitted in Logistic curve well.