A total of 676 children born in British Columbia with congenital ocular blindness during the years 1945 through 1984 were studied. The birth prevalence rate of congenital blindness has decreased from eight per 10,000 live births in the late 1940s to three per 10,000 live births. Retinopathy of prematurity was replaced by genetic ocular disorders as the leading cause of congenital blindness, although the former is reemerging. The rate of congenital rubella infection also declined. There has been a significant increase in the rate of births with optic nerve lesions during the past 15 years, while the rate of births with lesions of the lens fell, reflecting the decline in the rate of maternal rubella infection. There are fewer children with congenital ocular legal blindness who have no light perception today, and they also have fewer associated handicaps.