PURPOSE: Colorectal cancers occurring in young people are usually found in advanced stage and have worse prognosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of young patients with colorectal cancer and survival rate of patients with colorectal cancer younger than 40 years. METHODS: The total of 534 patients with colorectal cancer underwent surgeries between March 1997 and February 2003. 487 patients were 40 or older than 40 years (control group) and the remaining 47 patients were younger than 40 years (study group). We compared age, sex, curability, tumor location, stage, histological type between the two groups. The survival rate by stages and overall survival rate were retrospectively analyzed. RESULTS: No significant difference was shown in the comparison of the distribution by stage and histologic grade at the time of diagnosis. There were more female in the study group (P=0.005). The three-year and five-year overall survival rates were 79.3% and 74.0% in study group, and 68.2% and 60.2% in control group (P>0.05). The three-year and five-year survival rates according to stage were not significantly different between the two groups. CONCLUSION: In the comparison of patients with colorectal cancer younger than 40 years old and 40 or older than 40 years old, no significant difference was shown in clinical characteristics and survival rate except sex distribution.