This paper reports a retrospective study of deaths due to unintentional injury in children aged between 0 and 14 years of age in New South Wales between 1985 and 1987. The aims were to determine whether the pattern of child injury mortality differed between rural and metropolitan New South Wales and to establish the relationship between socio-economic status, based on a geographical indicator of socio-economic status and child injury mortality. The child injury mortality rate for New South Wales in 1985-87 was 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population per year. The rate in the country area of 15.3 deaths per 100,000 was significantly higher than that for the metropolitan area of 11.3 per 100,000 (P < 0.05). Deaths of passengers in motor vehicle traffic accidents (P < 0.01) and deaths due to fires (P < 0.01) were greater in the country area. A negative linear association between socio-economic status and child injury mortality was found in the Sydney metropolitan area (P < 0.01). This trend was most apparent for deaths of child pedestrians (P < 0.01).