The present community-based study was performed to provide predictive equations and lower boundaries of normal values for forced expiratory volume in one second (FEVI), forced vital capacity (FVC), and their percent ratio (FEV1%) in non-smoking, healthy adult men and women residing in communities, using ATS-recommended techniques and equipment. Use was made of data collected cross-sectionally from Nov. 1990 to Dec. 1993 in an ongoing longitudinal study on evolution of cardiovascular disease risk factors in Chinese. The spirometric values in our population reached their peak at around age 20. After age 20, a downward age trend was observed for FVC, FEV1, and FEV1%. Linear and negative relations were found in adults for each of the three spirometric values with age. Linear and positive relations were found between height and FVC or FEV1, but not between height and FEV1%. The age trends of FVC and FEV1 in Chinese adults were similar to those in Caucasians. Mean FVC and FEV1 levels of Chinese in Taiwan were systematically lower than those of Caucasians for a given height and a given age. Age and height specific percentile values of FVC and FEV1 and the age-specific percentile value of FEV1% are provided for adult men and women in this community study.