A population-based study of all patients hospitalized for burns in a 2-year period was conducted in up-state New York. The objective was to provide data for setting burn injury prevention priorities and for formulating treatment facility plans. The incidence rate of hospitalization for burns was 27 per 100,000 population per year. The mean estimated size of the burn wounds was 9 percent of the body surface, and fewer than 10 percent of the patients had large wounds (more than 20 percent of the body). Burn patients were admitted to hospitals of all capabilities, including 89 percent of 223 hospitals. Substantial numbers of patients with large and deep wounds were treated in hospitals with little burn treatment experience. High-risk groups were the young, blacks, and males. Burn injuries occurring at work were common. Burn injuries resulting in hospitalization occurred less frequently, and the wounds were smaller in size than would have been expected based on reports in the literature.