Cancer of the lung is the most frequent cancer in the world, but with wide geographical variation in risk. It is most spread among males of all races worldwide, the only exception being its incidence among Chinese women aged 70 years and older. When comparing the different ethnic groups we have to consider that besides inhaling cigarette smoke actively or as a passive smoker the exposure to occupational carcinogens varies considerably according to different work places. In our study we compared 10 years of data from African-Americans in Howard University Hospital, Washington D.C. with 20 years of data from the white population in the University Hospital of Vienna, Austria. Ethnic patterns are generally consistent within each group in terms of both incidence and mortality. The difference in susceptibility between the sexes, the three major racial groups and already proven differences in genetic variations indicate the difference between individuals concerning the initiation and progression of lung cancer.