A door-to-door survey was carried out in six cities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). There was 100% cooperation with the survey. Among 63,195 screened individuals, there were 392 prevalent cases of completed stroke and 115 incidence cases. Prevalence ratios and incidence rates for completed stroke showed a south-to-north gradient. The highest point prevalence ratio and incidence rate (age-adjusted to the 1960 US population) were documented in Harbin in northeast PRC (1,249/100,000; 441/100,000/yr). The majority of new completed strokes were cerebral infarction, but the percentage of intracerebral hemorrhage (44%) was much greater than that reported among Caucasian populations.