Background: Fractures of the femoral neck already represent a major public health problem in Australia. This situation is set to worsen as the population ages. The present study estimates the number of patients over 50 years of age with femoral neck fractures that is expected to impact on the South Australian healthcare service into the next century. Methods: Population projections from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996 census were combined with age- and gender-specific incidence rates for fractures of the femoral neck for persons over the age of 50 in South Australia. Projections for the expected number of hip fractures in this State were then calculated. Results: Assuming there are no changes in the age- and gender- specific incidence of fracture rates, the number of fractures in South Australia is estimated to increase by approximately 66% by the year 2021 and 190% by 2051. Conclusion: Based on the population projections and the assumption that conditions contributing to hip fractures remain constant, the number of fractured neck of femurs will increase in far greater proportion than the overall population in the next century. The results of the present study indicate the serious implications for the South Australian healthcare system if there is no reduction in incidence rates.