Hospital admission rates for childhood asthma have increased in many countries. To study if this is also true for Norrköping Hospital, paediatric admission rates for asthma every fifth year were examined for the period 1973 to 1993. Admission rates were found to have fallen over the last 10 years, especially in children of school age. Among the younger age groups (below 5 years of age) a fall in admission rates was also observed over the last 5 years. This fall occurred in spite of reported increases in the prevalence of childhood asthma. The relative risk for admission due to asthma thus decreased from 1 in 1973 to 0.09 in 1993. The readmission rate has been stable. The mean length of stay in hospital for asthma decreased significantly. The observed decreasing trend in hospital admissions for childhood asthma is contrary to that found in many other countries. Possible explanations are discussed.