A community survey of 8,896 households was undertaken in the Hunter region of New South Wales to assess women's health status. Consent was gained from 5,781 of the 6,361 eligible women between 18 and 69 years of age. The prevalence of hysterectomy in this sample was 16.9%, with 34.2% of women in their fifties having had a hysterectomy. Most hysterectomies (75%) were performed on women between the ages of 30 and 49 years. The demographic variables of parent's country of birth, educational level and employment status predicted recent hysterectomies after controlling for the effect of age.