From a population of 230,000 residents, 1429 consecutive hip fracture patients were studied with regard to their social and physical functions both before sustaining the fracture and 1 year later. Changes in the patients' accommodation, need of help and walking aids were described. Using logistic regression we found important factors regarding the ability to return home, mortality within 1 year and length of hospital stay. The cost of a hip fracture over the time a patient is in hospital is, including the cost of an internal fixation, about US $6000. The total cost over 1 year is about US $26,000 per patient, including the operation.