To explore potential etiologic differences in the two major types of hip fracture, the authors computed the incidence rates of fractures of the femoral neck and trochanteric region of the proximal femur using a 5 percent sample of the US Medicare population aged 65-99 years. For the period they examined, July 1, 1986, through June 30, 1990, the rates of both hip fracture types increased with age in all race and sex categories. The proportion of hip fractures that occurred in the trochanteric region rose steeply with age among white women, but not among black women, white men, or black men. Within the United States, a north-to-south gradient in rates of both fracture types was observed among women, while no clear pattern was found for men. These findings raise the possibility of etiologic differences in the two fracture types, and the results provide further evidence of sex and racial differences in the risk of osteoporotic fractures.