OBJECTIVE: The incidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) worldwide varies considerably. In spite of many reports about the incidence of SAH, there has been no report about the incidence of SAH on the basis of the Korean population. The purpose of this hospital-based study was to assess the actual incidence rates of aneurysmal SAH in Gwangju city and Jeollanamdo province. METHODS: All cases of SAH confirmed by computerized tomography (CT) between January 2007 and December 2007 were selected for analysis. For the data collection, three major training hospital and ten general hospitals working the CT in Gwangju city and four major general hospitals in Jeollanamdo province participate in this study. RESULTS: According to the official census of Korea, the population was 1,413,444 in Gwangju city and 1,929,836 in Jeollanamdo province in 2007. There were 163 patients in Gwangju city and 266 patients in Jeollanamdo province confirmed SAH by CT in 2007. The crude and the age- and sex-adjusted annual incidence rates per 100,000 population for all ages in Gwangju city were 11.5 and 12.4 for aneurysmal SAH and in Jeollanamdo province were 13.8 and 10.8. The incidence was higher in women and increased with age. The gender distribution varied with age. At young ages, the incidence was higher in men while after the age of 40 years, the incidence was higher in women. CONCLUSION: In the present study, the age- and sex-adjusted annual incidence rates is 11.8 in Gwangju city and Jeollanamdo province. The incidence was higher in women and increased with age.