A nationwide community-based survey for Helicobacter pylori infection had not been done. This study sought to determine the seroprevalence of infection in Mexico, and the socioeconomic and demographic variables that are risk factors for infection. The survey assessed 11,605 sera from a sample population representing persons ages 1-90 years from all socioeconomic and demographic levels and from all regions of Mexico. Antibodies against H. pylori were studied by ELISA using whole cell antigen. Among the findings were that 66% of the population was infected and that age was the strongest risk factor for infection. By age 1 year, 20% were infected and by age 10 years, 50% were infected. Crowding (odds ratio [OR], 1.4), low educational level (OR, 2.42), and low socioeconomic level (OR, 1.43) were risk factors for infection. Prevalence was similar in urban and in rural communities (OR, 0.95). This study is the largest community-based seroepidemiologic study of H. pylori to date.